Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Proverbs 8: 22-36

"The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way,
Before His works of old.
"From everlasting I was established,
From the beginning, from the earliest times of the earth.
"When there were no depths I was brought forth,
When there were no springs abounding with water.
"Before the mountains were settled,
Before the hills I was brought forth;
While He had not yet made the earth and the fields,
Nor the first dust of the world.
"When He established the heavens, I was there,
When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,
When He made firm the skies above,
When the springs of the deep became fixed,
When He set for the sea its boundary
So that the water would not transgress His command,
When He marked out the foundations of the earth;
Then I was beside Him, as a master workman;
And I was daily His delight,
Rejoicing always before Him,
Rejoicing in the world, His earth,
And having my delight in the sons of men.
"Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.
"Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it.
"Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
"For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the LORD.
"But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death."

Today's Thought Questions:
  1. When was wisdom created? Why do you think this is significant?
  2. Reread verses 35-36. Can you be a Christian and not possess wisdom?

In this beautiful passage, Wisdom explains that she was with God in all of His creation, even before God started to create! Wisdom was not an afterthought of God. The passage calls Wisdom "a master workman" (vs 30), working with God in the crafting of creation.

Reading through, you can see how the entire creation was made to honor God and to demonstrate wisdom in action. Wisdom was required to make water come from springs; to settle the mountains in their positions; and, to determine the boundaries of the oceans. Catch the deep wording of verse 29: "
When He set for the sea its boundary so that the water would not transgress His command." The seas obey Him! Born through Wisdom, the creation obeys, showing the fear of the Lord in its reverence of the God who created it!

Wisdom rejoiced at the creation. My S.B. makes particular note of verse 31, that Wisdom rejoiced especially at the creation of mankind, the only created entity capable of knowing wisdom. The personified Wisdom reminds the reader that she is to be sought, followed and not neglected; that we are blessed when we listen, watch, and wait. (vs 34)

There is more to come about acquiring wisdom. If you're like me, you are wondering if things get any more concrete. Will we learn how to listen with a discerning ear? Will we discover what to watch for, so that we can discern God's laying a message before us? The actual proverbs themselves are supposed to be those sayings of wisdom--but even in and of themselves, they are not the end. I have enjoyed looking at Wisdom personified and certainly appreciate what her beauty is.

The last two sobering verses answer our second thought question of the day. Can you be a Christian and not possess wisdom?

"For he who finds me finds life and obtains favor from the LORD. But he who sins against me injures himself; all those who hate me love death." (vs. 35 & 36)

Are Christians without sin? No! Can a Christian not possess wisdom? Yes--asked and answered with question 1, here. I like the difference between the first part of verse 36 and the second. When we sin against God, we injure ourselves. We're walking wounded; something is wrong. But injury implies that we can be treated, healed. It is here we can see the grace of God at work, helping us find the path to wisdom and thus to righteousness and life (vs 35).

But, if we continue on in our sin, leading the life--as suggested by 36b--of hating wisdom, then we claim we love death, and will thus find ourselves there--certainly spiritually, and, eventually, in every way else.

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Tomorrow's Scripture Focus and Thought Questions:

Proverbs 9: 1-6
  1. What's Wisdom doing?
  2. How would you define the simple?

* * *

Note: I read from the New American Standard Bible translation, specifically, The MacArthur Study Bible (NASB). I will quote other sources if used in a post.
I also use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (with notes from the King James Version).


The Patterson 5 said...

God's wisdom has always existed Wisdom is of God part of His character. Here wisdom is personified but God needs no outside advise Isaiah 40:14-15 "Has the Lord ever needed anyone's advise? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him the path of justice? No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket They are nothing more than a drop in the bucket....."

God's wisdom brought about the order of all creation. God's wisdom shows us how the world was made and works.

I love vs 32 "And so children, listen to me, for all who follow my ways are joyful" Our fear of the Lord, our trust in the Lord, our love of the Lord and our quest for wisdom makes us joyful b/c we have faith that the best is yet to come! It's all in God's hands.

Can you be a Christian and not pocess wisdom? I think that as Christians we have a quest, hunger for wisdom....true perhaps a "young" (I do not mean age) Christian who is still on spiritual "milk" perhaps they would be less wise and more open to trust in the world instead of God. Sometimes I find myself in that seat..I am thankful for God's Word where He reveals Himself to us...revealing true wisdom. Something to be joyful about!

Sue J. said...

I spent some time dwelling on the thought of God and Wisdom together and what that meant. I like your clarifying verse, because, though it makes it easier to talk about Wisdom as a "person," Wisdom is NOT a "person" of God--a character trait, as you said.

Nice to see your selected translation for verse 32. Even if we are not "jumping for" joy, it's that deep spiritual joy, made manifest through God's wisdom and guidance, that gives us hope through anything.

Thanks for the comments today!