"For wisdom is better than jewels; and all desirable things cannot compare with her."
This is quite a claim. But it is dependent upon the existence of an afterlife and a God who rewards. Moses says in Psalm 90 that we should ask God to help us number our days so that we will present to God a heart of wisdom at the end of our life. This means that wisdom is one of the most valuable commodities in the new life that follows death.
This is one of those comparison proverbs scattered throughout the book. These help us reevaluate our values and make sure that we haven't allowed the Devil or the world to change the price tags on things in our life. The world and the Devil are constantly trying to convince us that worthless things are the most important and the important things are worthless. They try and get us to throw away our marriages, to disregard our children, to avoid honesty, to pursue the adrenalin rush of gambling or illicit intimacy. It is the wise Christian who allows this ancient God-breathed wisdom to keep us from falling prey to this re-pricing scheme.
There is too little discussion about the impact that heaven should have upon how we live here and now. Christians are firmly committed to the fact of a life after death and how you live today affects that life. Now is the warm-up for that life. But many Christians live with the values of the world's culture which is "live for today."
Wisdom is the best policy for this life also. Wisdom is the everybody-wins policy – looking for the action that produces a win for God's glory, a win for the others in your life, and a win for yourself.
This comparison proverb slaps us in the face and says that we must value the wise choice enough to sacrifice some things in the short-term to gain it. There will be many choices that present themselves to us during our life, and many of them will require giving up some desirable things. If we forego a desirable thing to gain more wisdom, then we have done well. God will reward that choice.
Solomon is saying that knowing how to live life and what is important and what is not is far more valuable than having a lot of wealth, fame, power, or any sinful pleasure. For wisdom means that life is lived well and others have received blessings from it, God has been glorified, and you have benefited. A life well lived and filled with loving relationships is far more full than a life filled with possessions and other trinkets of this world.
Many times we have to be reminded of this truth because we get sucked in by all the advertising and babble from this world that tries to convince us that the stuff of this world is more important than wisdom and peace and righteousness from God. One day it will be revealed that the baubles of this world were silly vending machine jewelry. Only the qualities of Christ are really valuable.
On a personal note, it was this verse a long time ago that God used to help me see how right Dana was for me. She has been such a wise counselor, friend, confidant, and wife. I have benefitted a thousand-fold because of her willingness to marry me. It was because of her wisdom that God got my attention. One day when this life is over and I present her to the Lord as a major aspect of my ministry on earth, I pray that I have added in some small way to the wisdom that she possessed. What a blessing for God to give me a woman like her.