Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 8:4
"To you, O men, I call, and my voice is the sons of men"
This is an often overlooked verse in the call of wisdom. It precedes a section where God, through Solomon, details what different people need to grasp to escape the folly of their lives. The naive need prudence; fools need wisdom; and everyone needs noble things, right things, truth, avoidance of wickedness, embrace of righteousness, understanding, knowledge, instruction. All of these are different and powerful in helping everyone sort out the way in which they should go.
This verse, however, is about a more specific attention-grabbing group of people who often miss wisdom's call as they rush off to business. Specifically, men. It is often true that men miss the subtleties of wisdom, understanding, skill, and nobility in the hurry to make a name for themselves. But the glories of riches, honor, and life are won using the subtleties of these very things.
Solomon stops just before he launches into the meat of the subject and says: Men, are you paying attention? Don't miss this, men. Don't be in such a hurry that you miss the things that will be required to be successful. The desire that you have to make a mark on the world is good, but it will make a far greater mark on you if you do not listen but learn what I am about to tell you.
The phrase to the sons of men is the balance statement which would include all children.
Do not miss that wisdom has a special call to men to slow down on their rush to make money and a name for themselves; to learn the subtleties of wisdom. It is hard to get young men, who are so sure of their talents and energy and direction, to embrace subtle issues of discernment and interaction. But it is crucial.
In applying this verse, ask yourself the question: Do you know the definition of the things wisdom wants to teach? If you do and how they work in the real world, you are ready. If you do not, then stop a while and listen to what wisdom teaches us.
These terms should live with meaning from our study of Proverbs. If not, re-read the previous sections of Proverbs and learn what these words mean and how to live them out.