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Proverbs 8:35-36 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from Jehovah,
36 But he who misses me injures his own soul;
all those who hate me love death.”
For whoever finds me finds life: Do you want to find a long life? Then you need to find wisdom. Finding (Heb. motsa) here is not used in the sense of discovering something that is lost but rather in that you are finding a long life or acquiring a long life. (Prov. 3:2)
And obtains favor from Jehovah: Here obtaining favor (Heb. ratson) means that one is found favorable, acceptable in the eyes of Jehovah.
But he who misses me injures his own soul: The Hebrew term rendered misses (chata) means to sin, missing the mark or the way, to go astray. It can be rendered, “he who sins against me.” Injure (Heb. chamas) here means that the person is bringing about physical or moral violence against himself.
All those who hate me love death: Here hated (Heb. sane) has an emotion ranging from disliking intensely, abhor, detest, loathe, open hostility, antipathy or aversion towards a person or thing, but in other places it can have the weaker sense of being “set against,” also being toward a person or thing. Love death is offering more detail on injure in line one, as those who sin against wisdom unrepentantly will end up facing eternal death.
Does it not show disrespect of wisdom’s counsel, when servants of God acknowledging that they are his servants, yet they seek a means of begging off from listening to the voice of wisdom? It is likely that Christ is really personified as Wisdom from verses 22-26, and he is the one that offered himself as a ransom for us, so that we may have life. We need to listen to the voice of wisdom!
We certainly have many things in this age to captivate our attention, and we could seek out entertainment endlessly. However, if we allow the bells and whistles [non-essential features] of this wicked fallen world to distract us from pursuing God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength, we will eventually stumble out of the faith. How does God’s Word help us in this matter? What is the balance that we need to look for and apply? First, we need to remember that eternal life is our future; where there will be an eternity to consider entertainment, i.e., pleasure. We need to understand that for now, pleasure is but momentary. Some people have a job that they love, so it is as though they never have to work, because it is such a joy, and it is a career. However, we have been given a far greater work, in that we are to preach the gospel. Jesus said, “this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt. 24:14) How is the end to come, if the work we have been assigned is shelved, because we are more focused on ourselves? Jesus commanded that we “go and make disciples of all the nations … teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19-20.
Here is how we should use entertainment in this fallen world, or until the return of Christ. We as humans were created to enjoy pleasurable things, and having a good time is truly required, as we need to be happy, and find joy in life. However, we need to use it as a means of refreshing ourselves for the work we have been commanded to accomplish. Thus, our ministry should be our primary work, which is a heavy responsibility that can wear us down at times. Therefore, we need to be recuperated, so that we can continue our work. Thus, we use entertainment, as a means to refresh ourselves for the true work.
We are being used by God, to find those, whose hearts are disposed toward life, and help them to discover the path of salvation. As Paul said to Timothy, we are to ‘fix your attention on ourselves and on our teaching. Continuing in them, for by doing this we will save both ourselves and those who hear us.’ (1 Tim. 4:16) ‘For we are God’s fellow workers; we are God’s field, God’s building.’ (1 Cor. 3:9) Listen to Paul, “I have shown you with respect to all things that by working hard in this way it is necessary to help those who are in need, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35) Our work in the ministry gives our lives true meaning, and it ‘makes God’s heart glad, and gives him an answer for those who reproach him.’ Satan has slandered God, raised issues that are being settled, and he has besmirched his great name. (Prov. 27:11) If we are devoted workers to the work we have been assigned, using entertainment, to refresh us for that work, when Jesus returns, we are truly going to know what happiness is, for “godliness is profitable for everything, because it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8.