Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Wisdom of God

"Then I was the craftsman at His side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in His presence" (Proverbs 8:30).

Proverbs 1–9 presents us with two “women,” one named Folly and the other named Wisdom. Each of them has a house, and each of them invites us into her house to fellowship with her. Folly is painted as a harlot and an adulteress, her house as a whorehouse (compare the Great Harlot of Revelation). Wisdom is presented as both a mother and a bride, her house as a palace (compare the Bride in Revelation).

In Proverbs 8, however Wisdom takes on a more mysterious dimension. The feminine imagery falls away in Proverbs 8:22, and Wisdom is presented as existing with God before the creation of the world. Many theologians, though not all, believe that when John begins his gospel, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,” he is referring in part back to Proverbs 8. In 1 Corinthians 1:24, Paul calls Christ the Wisdom of God.

Proverbs 8:22–29 states that before God created the world, there was something prior to that creation, something that proceeded from the Divine mind: Wisdom. First God sent out Wisdom, and then on the basis of that Wisdom, He created the world. Similarly, the New Testament calls Christ the “firstborn of all creation,” and the Christian Church has confessed that Christ is the “only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, by whom all worlds are made” (Nicene Creed). There are many analogies between the personification of Wisdom in Proverbs 8 and the revelation of the Son in the New Testament. Similar analogies might also be drawn between Wisdom and the Spirit.

One thing that is very clear from Proverbs 8 is this: Wisdom existed before the world was made and the world was made according to Wisdom. If we want to understand the world, we must understand Wisdom. Moreover, Wisdom existed before the Law was given, and the Law was given according to Wisdom. Sometimes God’s law demands we do things we don’t think are wise, but when we understand that His law emerges from His wisdom, we realize that it is our wisdom that is false, and we obey Him in faith.

What does Proverbs 14:12 say about human wisdom and divine wisdom? Consider what this teaching implies about our call to live by faith and not by sight.