Life outside of Eden is hard. Thorns in work. Brokenness in relationships. Personal dis-ease. Selfish lifestyles. Bad decisions relationally and financially. Moral, ethical, and demonic boobytraps.
Therefore, life outside of Eden requires a navigational system. God has not left us without such a mechanism. It is called wisdom. And wisdom is needed in speech, finances, relationships, charity, decision making, and in every area of life!
The wisdom writer declares that wisdom is available to anyone—from the least educated to those with a PhD, “Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates of the city she speaks her words” (Proverbs 1:20-21, emphasis added); Wisdom “cries out from the highest places of the city” (9:3).
Sadly, few seek this wisdom because because it cannot be obtained without coming to the LORD, “For the LORD gives wisdom; from HIs mouth come knowledge and understanding” (2:6) and in fearing of the LORD, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (1:7); “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (9:10).
A GPS (Global Positioning System) program contains tons of maps. This reliable system considers all of the data (a vast number of maps, where one is, and where he wishes to go), it then navigates the traveler to the desired destination. Similarly, the book of Proverbs identifies the two paths of life (life and death, wisdom and folly, righteousness and wickedness, blessing and cursing, etc.) and offers seekers wisdom to avoid the one leading to ruin and navigate the one leading to success.
Only the Creator sees the big picture. Therefore, when He creates Adam and Eve He gives them a prohibition regarding the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. He desires that they listen to Him and experience life and blessing. A terrorist enters the garden with one motive—to kill, steal, and to destroy. When the first couple choose to disbelieve God’s Word and His good character, they doom all of their descendants to navigating life outside of Eden. Mercifully, God does not leave the couple without direction. He gives them a promise of redemption (Gen. 3:15) and a picture of redemption (3:21) to guide them and future generations. Later, He expands the promise and picture when He promises Abraham a son, a land, and a nation. Generations later He gives Moses post-garden rules—wisdom for Israel’s journey.
Now that Israel has become a bonafide nation with a king and a dynasty God gives His people wisdom through His king. Solomon was smarter than all of the PhDs of the world because God’s wisdom rested upon him. Sadly, Solomon didn’t fear the LORD all of the days of his life and he fell into gross sin and idolatry. Wisdom called aloud, raised her voice, and spoke, but her words fell on deaf ears. Wisdom must not merely be gained; those who receive it must walk in it daily and keep on receiving it, “Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge” (19:27).