Saturday, February 11, 2006

Proverbs 8:22-36: Wisdom's Shout Out (part two)

22 "The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;

23 I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.

24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth,
when there were no springs abounding with water;

25 before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,

26 before he made the world or its fields
or any of the dust of the earth.

27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,

28 when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,

29 when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.

30 Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,

31 rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in humankind.

32 "Now then, my children, listen to me;
blessed are those who keep my ways.

33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
do not disregard it.

34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
watching daily at my doors,
waiting at my doorway.

35 For those who find me find life
and receive favor from the LORD.

36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
all who hate me love death."


Last weekend we looked at the first part of Wisdom's shout out (Proverbs 8:1-21). Today we come to a well known passage which New Testament writers surely saw as having an analogy to Christ (Koptak).

Wisdom, personified as a woman, now declares that she was given birth by God. This surely refers to wisdom's place in God's work of and within creation. Wisdom is present with God during his creation of the world. While Koptak sees her simply as watching God create, it seems to me that she is a participant, since God's wisdom is attributed, in Scripture, to his works. (Note also 3:19-20)

Wisdom describes what she was present at. God's creation of the world is given with some detail, noting his touch- both art and science, if you will. Wisdom is overjoyed in the work of God's hands, both in God's whole world, and in humankind.

Then, based on that, Wisdom makes her appeal. Calling for those in her presence to listen, and declaring blessings for those who keep her ways, and listen to her, daily and persistently (doors and doorway could refer to Wisdom's lips opening to speak- Koptak).

Those who find her find life and favor from YHWH. But those who do not, harm themselves. Those who hate lady Wisdom, love death.

Father. Give us attentive ears to hear your wisdom. And open hearts to understand. And ready feet to walk in the way of wisdom. Thank you for your Son in whom is all of wisdom. Let us follow him. And find your life and favor. Amen.

No comments: