Preeminence in the Bible – pre-em’-i-nens: Superiority, especially in noble or excellent qualities. The word stands for: (1) mothar, “what is over and above,” “excellence” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia)
In Proverbs 8:12-13, Wisdom defines her superior superiority in two ways. First, she describes her excellent qualities of prudence, knowledge, and discretion.
Proverbs chapter 1, verse 7, we are told: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise [hate] wisdom and instruction”.
We don’t usually relate the word “hate” with the things of God do we? However, here we see that the fear of the LORD is hatred of evil!
Have you seen the COEXIST bumper sticker? “COEXIST” spelled out through the use of symbols representing various religions and beliefs. They appear to encourage people to “just get along” but the true message being conveyed goes far beyond extending grace. There is even a bumper sticker specifically for pagan religions.
There are some things that just cannot co-exist. We see that illustrated in verses 13-14. Pride, arrogance, and perverted speech cannot coexist with sound wisdom, insight and strength.
John in his epistle of 1 John, gives us several examples: we cannot love the Light and walk in darkness (1 Jn. 1:5-7). We cannot love God and hate our brother (1 Jn. 1:9-11). We cannot love God and love the world (1 Jn. 2:15-16).
In other words, as followers of Christ, we can’t have it both ways; cannot live life on the fence. Joshua put it plainly when he spoke to the children of Israel.
“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14-15)
Now, look at the people’s response.Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. And the Lord drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.” (Joshua 24:16-18)
Just like the Israelites, we are living in a time and land of isms. And, just like them, we have to choose. In many ways, our choice should be easier because through His written word, we have the complete Wisdom of God to instruct and guide us. But in some ways, it can be more difficult. If we aren’t careful, if we don’t stay alert, the voice of Wisdom can be drowned out by the voice of evil.