Proverbs 4:13 (ESV) … “Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.”
Solomon kept coming back to his theme: wisdom is life’s guardian. He wrote, “Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.” Wisdom protects the quality of life and the length of life. God promises that those who cleave to sound instruction and never let it go, will have the best of life. How Solomon wished he could get that lesson through scatterbrained Rehoboam’s dull head.
Judas failed to take fast hold of instruction. We can picture him, rope in hand, heading for a steep place where he can commit suicide. He let Wisdom go and lost his life. Incarnate Wisdom wooed and warned him, but in vain.
Jesus knew Judas better than Judas knew himself. Jesus knew the reason why Judas joined the apostolic band. Jesus knew his desire for fame and fortune in what he fondly imagined would be an empire of pomp and power. Jesus knew his growing disillusionment as it dawned on him that the kingdom would be spiritual and that the man he had believed to be the Messiah was not interested in an earthly kingdom but seemed bent on an early death on a Roman cross. Jesus knew when the evil thought entered the soul of Judas—the thought that he should cash in and get out. Jesus warned Judas again and again about the dangers of covetousness. “One of you is a devil,” He pointedly said (John 6:70). “One of you shall betray me” (Matthew 26:21). Jesus spoke with ever-increasing bluntness. “That thou doest, do quickly” was the parting shot as Judas left the upper room to perform his nefarious errand (John 13:27). Stolidly, stubbornly, Judas refused all instruction. The result was a rope, ruin, and an eternity of woe.