“Who is like the wise man and who knows the interpretation of a matter? A man’s wisdom illumines him and causes his stern face to beam.” (v.1)
The wise man is not a common sight these days. I can attest to my utter shame that I tend to lack much wisdom and it sickens me. As a result my countenance isn’t radiant, but rather gloomy. This text supports the notion that happiness is a direct result of wisdom (i.e., the proper application of knowledge to a given situation that is aligned with the design and purpose of God).
Our culture sadly prizes glamour, fame, and stuff not wisdom. It’s too bad since all of us are daily faced with pressing decisions that often are not easy to unravel. Paul in his 2nd letter to Timothy reminds the young pastor that the Scriptures (graphe=the inscripturated word of God) “makes one wise unto salvation”. Note this comes from Scripture, the Word, who according to John 1:1 is the incarnate Son, the 2nd person of the triune God.
The Psalmist somewhere declares that, “In your (God’s) light we see light”. This I take to infer that the “obvious” is hidden from us when we walk in darkness. Sin, according to Scripture, has a blinding and darkening effect on our soul’s ability to reason and apprehend the true, beautiful and good. Could it be that this wisdom which illumines the heart is reflected in the face of one who is wise?
The proverbs say that, “the fear of the LORD is wisdom” and that this wisdom is given by the LORD. Perhaps the longing for autonomy—which is impossible for finite creatures—actually darkens our pursuit of worthy things. Clearly from this text in 8:1 a heart filled with wisdom illumines the face, displays the joy on the face of its possessor. The pursuit of happiness that is so dear to everyone I know breathing misses out on that reality truly when the Word of God is neglected and ignored. Lord have mercy on me!