Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 8:32
"Now therefore, O sons, listen to me, for blessed are they who keep my ways"
Solomon draws down the conclusion from all the above verses dealing with wisdom and its role in creation. The conclusion is that if all the planning and executing of creation involved wisdom, then you get in step with the universe when you embrace wisdom.
This word does not appear in the Hebrew text but has been added to point out the concluding nature of this section of Proverbs 8:32. The Hebrew reads with the word now attah as the critical connective between what went before and what is coming after. Solomon is summing up or drawing to a conclusion. This is why the translators felt justified in putting the word therefore in the passage.
This is the Hebrew word sama which means to hear, listen, and to obey. This word is in the imperative or command mode. Solomon is saying: LISTEN TO WHAT I AM SAYING.
This is the Hebrew word eser which means happiness or blessedness. Solomon is saying that what you are really looking for out of life is in living out of a wisdom orientation. The kind of life you are really wanting does not come out of a selfish, prideful life. You can't get what you want by going at it straight away. You get it by going round about through wisdom. As one person put it: "You can get everything you want, if you help enough people get what they want!" A blessed life is through looking for the triple-win, not the selfish win.
This is the Hebrew word samar which means keep, guard, observe. The idea is that one would live a life of wisdom and not just occasionally do something non-selfish. Live this way is what God is telling us through Solomon.
We must ask and answer the question: How does everybody win in this situation?" How do I allow the company to win as well as me? How do I cause my spouse and family to win as well as me? How do I bring a win to the community as well as to me in this situation? Many times the wise choice is a more long-term win or stretched-out win for us on the short end. But it will lead to a greater relationship and build a climate of winning.
Remember that celebrating a win in life is only really sweet when it is celebrated with loving, deep relationships and friendships. How often have we seen people who went after the money, the fame, the prestige, the pleasure to the exclusion of the relationships in their life? And when they attain what they seek, it is hollow and devoid of the joy they wanted because there are no people to enjoy it with. I want to enjoy life and embrace all the blessings that God wants to give me; but I will not sacrifice the love of my wife, children, colleagues, community, or country to have them.
This is the Hebrew word derek which means way, path, or road. Wisdom has a way it approaches situations and difficulties. Wisdom does not say, "How do I win here?" It says, "How do we win here?"
All of us are tempted to be selfish from time to time. We feel the impulse to win at the expense of others; this is not the way of wisdom and pushes us down the fool’s road.