Question: "How can I obtain favor from the Lord (Proverbs 8:35)?"

Answer: In Proverbs 8 wisdom is personified as a woman calling out from the entrance to the city (Proverbs 8:1–2). To all passersby, she extends the promise: “Whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 8:35, ESV). Those who lack wisdom will be bereft of blessing: “But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death” (Proverbs 8:36).

Wisdom tells her listeners that she dwells with prudence, and she possesses knowledge and discretion (Proverbs 8:12). She explains that the fear of the Lord is to hate evil as she does (Proverbs 8:13). It is by her that kings and princes rule and judge rightly (Proverbs 8:14–16). She loves those who love her, and those who seek her will find her (Proverbs 8:17). There are many advantages wisdom offers, including enduring wealth and righteousness (Proverbs 8:18). The fruit of wisdom is better than gold and silver (Proverbs 8:19). Gold and silver are temporary, but the wealth and righteousness that wisdom provides endures.

In eternity past, God possessed wisdom (Proverbs 8:22–26). When He created the world and the people in it, He used wisdom (Proverbs 8:27–30). Wisdom has always shown who God is and directed us to Him. Because of that, the person who keeps the ways of wisdom is blessed (Proverbs 8:32). The one who finds wisdom finds life and obtains favor from the Lord (Proverbs 8:35). In contrast, those who hate wisdom hurt themselves and love death (Proverbs 8:36).

Throughout Proverbs, Solomon shows the connection between the fear of the Lord and wisdom, and he explains that the fruit of both endures. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7) and, more specifically, the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2:5). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10) and is the instruction for wisdom (Proverbs 15:33). And just like wisdom, the fear of the Lord leads to life (Proverbs 19:23). A good man—the one who has the enduring righteousness that wisdom provides—obtains favor from the Lord (Proverbs 12:2). The one who heeds the exhortations of wisdom and keeps her ways is blessed (Proverbs 8:32–34).

God’s favor is His acceptance, grace, and good will given to those He loves. Solomon explains that the way to discern the knowledge of God is through the wisdom God has revealed in His Word (Proverbs 2:5–6). We ought to be diligent to discover what He has told us in that Word. Paul exhorted Timothy to be a diligent workman who was accurately handling the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). If God’s Word offers us the way to obtain favor from the Lord, then pursuing God’s wisdom in the Bible is the greatest pursuit in life.

God’s Word is a light to our path (Psalm 119:105). Only a fool would disregard the light and walk where there is no light. Wisdom calls out to encourage all to choose the enduring wealth and righteousness that her light provides (Proverbs 8:18). We need to heed instruction and be wise (Proverbs 8:33). In so doing we obtain favor from the Lord (Proverbs 8:35).