Remember Billy Joel’s catchy song, ‘Only the Good Die Young’?
It’s about a guy trying to convince a catholic girl to set aside her convictions and at best hang out with him and at worst sleep with him. Check out the lyrics. He may be conveniently using a saying, but the idea sticks, do good people die young? (My siblings would be saying, “Nay, none is good.”) It may seem the right thing to say at a tragic funeral, but is it biblically correct?
Proverb’s answer is somewhat revealing.
First off, not everyone will want to search for godly wisdom, because it involves dwelling on the holiness of God. This ultimately makes people shake in their moral boots when they realise they don’t match up to God’s standard. Proverbs says this is where a searcher’s path to wisdom starts.
We must not start with the blessings of wisdom and say, “Hey, this seems unfair! How can this promise be true?” We need to get back to where wisdom comes from. God is the source of all good things, including wisdom. Understanding reveals God to us. This understanding again comes from Him, as our finite knowledge is hardly adequate to discover the Creator of the universe. A ‘fright’ view of God brings us to our knees, as we realise we need His mercy and wisdom.
Wisdom says by her our days will be ‘multiplicated’ and years ‘additionated’ (I shouldn’t be getting away with this). So is that a guarantee against an early death? Not necessarily, look what happened to Abel, a son of Adam. It simply is a promise that those who seek to live a righteous life in God’s favour will be kept much more safe by Divine protection than if they had decided to live a life of selfish endeavours.
So maybe it’s not so much that we will all be 900 year old retirees, but that God keeps the lives of those who seek Him in His caring arms. Why do we pray for the sick, old, and dying? Because we have a great God.
This verse speaks for itself. Everyone bears their own maturity. Don’t expect others to be at the same level of wisdom as you. If they are wiser, listen to them, and if they are less wise, be patient with them.
If you scoff at wisdom, so what? That doesn’t mean wisdom is worthless. It just means your rejection of her is your own to carry. Carry it well, my friend. Amen.
Thoughts or questions? Write them down in the comment section below!
Note: All scripture is taken from Biblestudytools.com and is the New King James Version. I am using a commentary by John Kitchen for help with difficult concepts and words.