group

Wisdom


   

Saturday Reflection

   

6th February 2021


delighting in the human race


   '...when he marked out the
   foundations of the earth,

30 then I was beside him,
   like a master worker;
   and I was daily his delight,
   rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world
   and delighting in the human race.'

.....Proverbs 8:29b-31


This Sunday's Lectionary reading
from Proverbs is one of the
loveliest and most important
biblical texts that respond
to the question:
"What is the world like?
How does it work?"

The text is framed as a
speech by "wisdom" who is
presented as an active
agent in creation.

It is full of light,
beauty and joy as the voice
of Wisdom talks about
rejoicing in the world
at the very beginning
of creation.

One version of the Bible
uses the word "playing" and
speaks of Wisdom being God's
darling and delight.
It speaks of a new creation
where everything is as it
should be and anything
is possible.

But what is wisdom
and how do we find it?
The passage above shows it has
skill which creates beauty out of
the raw material of human life.

Because it is a skill,
no one naturally possesses wisdom;
it must be cultivated and developed.
Perhaps this is why there are
so many parental appeals
in the first nine chapters of
proverbs to pursue this most
precious and practical of all skills.


   My son, if you accept my words
   and store up my commands
   within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
   and applying your heart
   to understanding -
3 indeed, if you call out for
   insight and cry aloud for
   understanding,
4 and if you look for it
   as for silver and search for it
   as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand
   the fear of the Lord
   and find the knowledge of God.

....Proverbs 2:1-5


But how do we pursue wisdom?
The answer is found in
the next verse:

For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge
and understanding.

....2:6


This wisdom comes from above
and we can never hope to
achieve it on our own.

The treasure of wisdom
rests in the hands of God;
but what are the conditions
for acquiring it?
Proverbs 9:10 gives us the answer;


The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One
is understanding.


According to the wisdom literature
in the Bible,
the true skill in the art
of living can only be achieved
by cultivating the
'fear of the Lord';
but this leads to yet
another question;
what is the 'fear of the Lord'?

Now we come to of one of
the fundamental,
yet often overlooked,
concepts of the Bible;
let's see what is said about wisdom:


28 And he said to the human race,
  "The fear of the Lord -
   that is wisdom, and to shun evil
   is understanding."

....Job 28:28


10 The fear of the Lord
   is the beginning of wisdom;
   all who follow his precepts
   have good understanding.
   To him belongs eternal praise.

....Psalm 111:10


7 The fear of the Lord
   is the beginning of knowledge,
   but fools despise wisdom
   and instruction.

....Proverbs 1:7


But let us also remember
that the 'fear' of the Lord
doesn't mean we have to be
frightened or terrified of God;
that is not his aim.
It means to be in awe
of his holiness,
to give him complete reverence
and to honour him
as the God of great glory,
majesty and power.

When we fear God and
obey his Word,
we can experience a deep sense
of spiritual security and
the empowering of the Holy Spirit.

We can be sure that God
will always be with us
whatever we are going through.
That's wisdom.



It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'The Perfect Wisdom of Our God'
sung by Stuart Townend
via the link shown below.


Blessings

Maureen