Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, 14 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. 15 She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. 16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. 19 The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding he established the heavens; 20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open, and the clouds drop down the dew. 21 My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, 22 and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. 24 If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. 25 Do not be afraid of sudden terror or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, 26 for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught. 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it” — when you have it with you. 29 Do not plan evil against your neighbor, who dwells trustingly beside you. 30 Do not contend with a man for no reason, when he has done you no harm. 31 Do not envy a man of violence and do not choose any of his ways, 32 for the devious person is an abomination to the LORD, but the upright are in his confidence. 33 The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous. 34 Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor. 35 The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.
Skeptics often talk like religion will make our lives worse; if we become an eager Christian, we can’t have any more fun. This section points out that wisdom delivers things that are much more valuable and satisfying than the cheap thrills of being ungodly. These include longer life, a great reputation, peace at night, and God’s ultimate blessing and honor. Pray for the eyes to see and the heart to appreciate God’s greater gifts.