Wisdom is better than rubies. This is what Proverbs 8:7 says. What is wisdom? If you follow the next two verses, there is some insight. It means dwelling with, living with prudence, which is a degree of caution. It means gaining knowledge of witty inventions. What are witty inventions? The Hebrew definition means intent to do mischief. It means we ought to have some discretion and be aware when people are up to no good. In other words, be alert to bad intentions. God expands on that in verse 13.
If you want to know how to displease the Lord. Here is the check list. God defines what He would call evil right here. Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Let’s start with fear. The fear of the Lord….the word fear means exceeding dreadful – so powerful that you cannot even look much less stand before it. So exceeding dreadful in regard to God is this evil. Note the punctuation. Before we can ask, “what evil?” God defines it for us.
Number one on the list is pride. If you study it out, pride is the most often spoken of sin in Scripture. It is the sin of Satan. It is an abomination before God. It brought about the downfall of many kings. It destroys relationships. It is the most damaging of sins. Next on list is arrogancy, which means self-exaltation and conceit. When God mentions the evil way, it refers to those who would do harm unto others. Finally, a forward mouth is a perverse mouth.
What is the alternative? Look at what God says in verse 20 and 21. “I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” When we fear the magnificence of the Lord to the degree that we choose to depart from what God calls evil, and choose instead to follow as He leads in righteousness, He will cause us to have substance and treasure.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know what my choice is. I choose to follow righteousness and let God bless my life. It proves that wisdom is better than rubies.