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You Will Reap What You Sow
Proverbs 9:11-12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
and if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
For by me your days will be multiplied: Days being multiplied (רָבָה rabah) are the outcome of keeping company with wisdom. It is your free will choice to do so, as you are individually responsible. Days are multiplied not through God stepping into your life and miraculously prolonging it, but rather by your acquiring wisdom and being obedient.
And years will be added to your life: Do you want years to be added to your life (חַי chay), and would you like to be certain that you are walking down the right path and your life is heading in the right direction to have the blessing and approval of God?
If you are wise, you are wise for yourself: Making the effort and buying out the time to gain wisdom is our personal responsibility. A wise (חָכַם chakam) man with good judgment acts in a way that benefits himself, and he is rewarded by his own wise decisions that he makes, not by following the footsteps of others.
And if you scoff, you alone will bear it: The scoffer (לִיץ lits) or ridiculer who thinks more of himself than is necessary and who has nothing but contempt and derision for others, he alone is to blame for his own difficulties in life. Indeed, he will reap what he sows. May you, then, be “attentive to wisdom.” – Proverbs 2:2.
What can we expect from our acquiring wisdom? Verse 11 says, “by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.” Yes, by being intimately acquainted with wisdom, our days will be increased, “wisdom restores life to its possessor.” (Eccles. 7:12) It is our responsibility to acquire biblical wisdom. As Solomon puts it, “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; and if you scoff, you alone will bear it.” In other words, if we choose wisdom as a companion, we will have the advantage of the very knowledge of God. However, if we choose to scoff at wisdom, we will reap what we sow. Our length of days and years of life result from our possessing wisdom. Solomon encourages us to acquire the knowledge and the reverential fear of displeasing Jehovah because of our great love for him. Really, without Jehovah and his blessing, we are nothing. Moreover, a person with the wisdom of God acts in a way that benefits himself and his neighbor.