A Choice Between Two Hilltops—Proverbs 8:10-11
by Jack Klumpenhower

Like most people, I’ve faced turning points in my life that required tough decisions. Which job do I take? What school do I attend? Which girl do I marry?

Okay, that last one was actually pretty easy for me, but you get the idea. These are life-defining choices. They shape the thousands of daily decisions that follow.

The Bible’s book of Proverbs recognizes this. Before launching into its collection of sayings about day-to-day issues like work and speech and family and friendship, it builds a general case for godly wisdom. By the time we reach chapter 8, this call to wisdom takes the form of a literary device. Wisdom is personified as a woman beckoning from a hilltop:

“Choose my instruction rather than silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
Nothing you desire can compare with it.”
(Proverbs 8:10-11)


A few verses later, Folly calls from an opposite hilltop. So any reader embarking on the Proverbs is handed a choice: wisdom or folly? This life-defining decision must come first. Do you really wish to continue with the rest of the proverbs? Are you serious about godly wisdom? Do you want this treasure?

I detect echoes here of Moses, urging the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land to choose life with God instead of death (see Deuteronomy 30:15-20). I hear Jesus calling, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

A few years ago, some believers began wearing bracelets and such with the letters WWJD for “What Would Jesus Do?” Like most fads, this one has drawn its share of criticism and ridicule. But the thought behind it is dead-on right. Our life-defining decision to follow Jesus must inform every other choice we make.

Jesus tends to expose deep flaws that challenge my day-to-day life—the way I work and speak and deal with family and friends.

This is why I’ve written about Proverbs. It reminds me that years ago I made a choice—a wise choice to follow a man who is more than a literary device. He is wisdom that came as an actual person, breathing and touchable, laughing and weeping and—yes—rebuking. Colossians 2:3 tells me, “In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Yes, I will continue with Jesus. I will follow wherever he leads. I want his treasure.