Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
Do you crave wisdom? Before rushing on, consider the question. Do you crave - really crave - wisdom? Favor from heaven depends on it. Are you eager to hear wisdom taught? Do you seek wisdom every day? Do you wait with excited anticipation for any opportunity to learn? Eager seekers are blessed with life and favor of the LORD (Pr 8:35)!
Most of this chapter and the next contain a lengthy personification of wisdom, where Solomon uses Lady Wisdom to appeal to men to obtain knowledge and understanding. Lady Wisdom is in this proverb three times - the "me," the "my," and the "my." She warmly invites men to her house, if they want to learn wisdom (Pr 8:1-7; 9:1-5).
There are rewards for those who seek and find wisdom - the blessing of life and favor of the LORD (Pr 8:35). "Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding ..." (Pr 3:13-18). What a glorious proposition! What hinders you today from hearing wisdom? Do you watch for her every day? Are you waiting at the posts of her doors? She loves those who love her, and those who seek her early will find her (Pr 8:17).
Most men are too lazy and stubborn - Jesus called them wayside hearers (Mark 4:15). They do not prepare or apply themselves, and Satan quickly snatches away any wisdom. It requires tenacious preparation and listening to learn by hearing (Pr 22:17), and a lazy approach to preaching or written instruction will never work. Much teaching falls on deaf ears and blind eyes. Most men today cannot endure sound doctrine (II Tim 4:3-4).
Other men are too comfortable - Jesus called them stony ground hearers (Mark 4:16-17). They may get excited to hear truth, but they quickly wilt when encountering any opposition. They value friendship and peace more than truth and wisdom. These timid compromisers have no real commitment to truth, and the cost of discipleship is too much for them (Matt 10:34-39; John 8:31; 12:43-43; Acts 14:22; II Tim 3:5,12).
Other men love the world - Jesus called them thorny ground hearers (Mark 4:18-19). They appreciate hearing truth, but they are more interested in money and pleasure. They are absorbed with a profession, hobby, or amusements: they cannot find the time or effort to zealously pursue wisdom. The love of money and pleasure ruins them (I Tim 4:7-8; 6:6-10; II Tim 3:4; 4:10; James 4:4; I John 2:15-17). Remember Lot's wife and Demas!
These three kinds of hearers - the greater part of all men - never receive the Lord's blessings. They miss the life He offers; they miss His divine favor; and they do not grow in wisdom. In fact, God takes from them the knowledge and wisdom they think they have (Luke 8:18)! In God's economy, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer (Matt 25:28)! He leaves lazy hearers bankrupt, to remain in the congregation of the dead (Pr 21:16).
But there are good ground hearers! They hear wisdom gladly, and they bear fruit and obtain the LORD's favor. They are committed and diligent, as our proverb describes. They were called noble in Berea (Acts 17:11), and Solomon described them as single-minded (Pr 18:1). They approach hearing like hunting for treasure - with great zeal (Pr 2:1-5)! There are only a few of them (Matt 7:14), but they are the LORD's jewels (Mal 3:16-18).
What is the lesson? Jesus stated, "Take heed therefore how ye hear" (Luke 8:18). How you hear has consequences! If you are a wayside, stony ground, or thorny ground hearer, He will strip you of the knowledge and blessing you think you have. If you are a good ground hearer, He will give you more knowledge and blessing. "Take heed therefore how ye hear." Crave wisdom; seek her daily; apply yourself; eagerly await every opportunity.
David craved wisdom. "More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward" (Ps 19:10-11). And again, "Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart" (Ps 119:111). And again, "I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil" (Ps 119:162).
Wisdom and truth - the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ - are valuable things. Many prophets and righteous men desired to see and hear the gospel, but they did not (Matt 13:16-17). Noble men will sell all they have to buy it (Pr 23:23; Matt 13:44-46). Lady Wisdom offers freely, but you had better not squander her invitation, for she will leave you helpless and hopeless when your calamities come in just revenge (Pr 1:20-33).
Where do you meet Lady Wisdom? She is between the covers of a King James Bible. How do you read Scripture, out of duty or eager anticipation? She is heard from the pulpits of Bible preaching churches with faithful pastors. How do you hear, with painful endurance or enthusiastic appreciation? She is here in these few comments on this proverb. Do you speed read or carefully meditate? "Take heed therefore how ye hear."
"Blessed is the man that heareth me." Are you a prepared and ready hearer, like the noble Bereans, when wisdom is preached (Acts 17:11)? Blessed is the man watching "daily at my gates." Do you seek wisdom each day of your life, or only on Sundays (Ps 1:2)? Blessed is the man that waits "at the posts of my doors." Do you eagerly anticipate each opportunity when Lady Wisdom may appear to offer further understanding (Acts 10:33)?
The blessed LORD will be found by any man, who will search for Him with his whole heart (Jer 29:13). Do you seek Him with your whole heart? It is the man who delights in the LORD, who receives the desires of his heart (Ps 37:4). Do you fervently delight in Him? And what of His wisdom? Do you crave wisdom? Before leaving the proverb, consider the question. Do you crave wisdom? Your future blessings depend on it.