In April 2009, a frumpy, middle-aged, and socially awkward Scotswoman marched on the stage of the TV show Britain’s Got Talent. Susan Boyle flouted her spunky attitude and wish to be a professional singer, while judges and audience members alike snickered and visibly mocked her. But they gave her a chance.
You’ve got to watch the video to understand fully what happened that day. Simon Cowell—the world’s most cynical and scathing judge of performance talent—shows little mercy to this nervous woman, but his bewildered expression after her first few notes is priceless. Boyle’s performance gives new meaning to the song “I Dreamed a Dream.”
Boyle’s audition was the most viewed YouTube video in 2009. She went on to take second place in that season of Britain’s Got Talent, but it was enough to secure her a record deal with Sony Music. Her first album sold more copies than any other début album in British history, and she has since gone on to record 4 more. Two Grammy nominations and 22 million pounds later, she’s performed in Windsor Castle and had a musical written about her. She’s become an icon of success, a contemporary rags to riches tale.
Wisdom is like that.
I don’t mean that wisdom will earn you millions of pounds or pageviews. Nor do I mean that wisdom grants your wishes to become famous or successful. I mean simply this: Wisdom turns nobodies into somebodies.
We’re drawing near the end of Proverbs 1-9. Over the next few weeks, I’ll work through chapter 8 in my Monday posts, and I’ll show how this chapter summarizes Solomon’s entire model of wisdom. Before we get to the closing vision of chapter 9—which launches the reader into the body of the book—Solomon will remind us of all that came before. Solomon assembles the pieces of wisdom’s instruction into a few long poems placed on Wisdom’s own lips.
- In Proverbs 8:1-11, wisdom is available to those who hear. The simple and the foolish can both become wise if they will but humble themselves and realign their desires. Wisdom’s words are like God’s words, more precious than gold and jewels.
- In Proverbs 8:12-21, wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord and bears fruit beyond imagining. Satisfaction, justice, effective leadership, and enduring righteousness depend on the acquisition of godly wisdom. You won’t want to miss it.
- In Proverbs 8:22-31, wisdom is intimately acquainted with the Lord himself and woven into the fabric of creation. You can’t delight in wisdom without delighting in Yahweh, Lord of heaven and earth. And because of what God has done in Christ, this wisdom now delights in you.
- In Proverbs 8:32-36, wisdom promises divine blessing on those who listen and keep her ways. Those who find her find life, God’s favor. Those who miss her love death and end up harming themselves. This should be a no-brainer.
You and I might be nobodies. But God in his grace wants to make us into somebodies. His favor and life are stored up, ready for immediate disbursement to those who love his Son, Jesus Christ. If you grasp Christ, your wisdom from God, your life will never be the same again.