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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 8:36

"But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death"


This is the Hebrew word hata which means miss, miss the way, sin. This is the idea of the sin of omission – something that you should have done but you didn't. The search to find wisdom can be a sin of omission. Solomon states that you should have kept looking for more options or another alternative so that you could find the one in which God received glory, the right people win, and you win. If you don't look hard enough or seek enough counsel or look at all the possible things that could be done, you could miss wisdom and that would be a sin against wisdom.

We all do this from time to time. We just take the two or three options that present themselves to us. We assume that these are the only choices, and we choose one of these. It is convenient and quick. The problem is that we are short-circuiting some of the good that could happen to us. Keep searching until you understand wisdom.


This is the Hebrew word hamas which means wrong, do violence to. The idea here is that the person who does not complete the process of searching for wisdom and just takes the short-term solution is doing violence to their life. When the easy, selfish, impulsive choice works its way through your life, it represents a significant shortfall over what could have been your lot had you kept searching and found the wise action or choice.

I remember young people who knew that their present girlfriends or boyfriends were not God's best for them but rather than break up and be lonely trusting God to bring the right person later, they just hung onto this okay person. Eventually they marry and live out their life with its problems and adjustments that they were never supposed to make. They injured themselves.

I have seen men who don't want to send out all the resumes and do all the interviews that they should and then settle for the job that is easy, convenient, and quick. They then have to deal with the parameters of that job and its demands and lack of satisfaction because they refused earlier to push through to the wise action.

I have watched people injure themselves in terms of their friends, in terms of their church, in terms of their marriage, in terms of their family, and in terms of their finances by settling for an easy solution by not doing the extra work to do something right or by not asking for counsel. They miss God's best because it is easier to settle for what is already available.


This is the Hebrew word sane which means to hate, hold in derision. This means to hold a negative emotional response to a particular person, action, or activity.

Solomon says that those who don't search for wisdom are those who have a negative emotional response to the work, the discipline, and the restrictions that are required to be wise. They are involved in loving separation and alienation. The idea of death is separation and alienation. They want it their way to the extent that they would rather have separation, loneliness, and even alienation from others than give up this thing they want.

This is true in that as a person comes to embrace foolishness or a particular brand of selfishness, they cut off themselves from some group or relationship that they could have and in that way experience death in a certain part of their life. Many times people don't even realize that they are killing off a section of their life. The man who commits adultery and runs off with another women doesn't realize that he is cutting off and killing the relationship that he has with his children through his betrayal of their mother. The person who embezzles money from his company does not realize that he is cutting off a future employment opportunity that would have brought satisfaction and financial reward to him. The woman who openly disrespects her husband does not realize how it will cut her off from developing a lasting relationship with him. She is killing a part of her life. The young person who selfishly skips class and/or flunks a core class does not realize that they are killing a college admission or key piece of information that will be needed for a job.

Solomon is trying to say that we should not give up on wisdom because doing so has disastrous consequences.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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