Monday, June 10, 2013

Wooing Wisdom

Today is the first day of our 23rd week, reading the Bible through together in a year.  Our scriptures this wee are:

  • Proverbs 3-5; Romans 10;
  • Proverbs 6-7; Romans 11; Psalm 7
  • Proverbs 8-10; Romans 12; Ps 144
  • Proverbs 11-13; Romans 13; Ps 8
  • Proverbs 14-15; Romans 14
Today's Proverbs passages remind me that in Genesis 2:18 (ESV), "the Lord God said, 'It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'”  In Adam's case, that helper was Eve, his wife and soul-mate, his "better half."  God knows that one person on their own lacks the wisdom that they need, but two people can accomplish much.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV) says:  "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?  And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken."  The third strand is God Himself.  A person can acquire wisdom from learning from another person--but a cord of three strands, that includes God in the relationship, is not easily broken.

Just as Adam wasn't enough in the garden, so we need special insight and help if we are to succeed in life.  But the Helper we receive today isn't someone who is made from our own ribs.  Jesus says in John 14:16-17a (ESV), "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth,"  This Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit, helps us in our weakness (Romans 8:26).  This divine Helper calls out to us, and begs us to pursue Her.  Proverbs 1:20-23 (ESV) says:

20 Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
    in the markets she raises her voice;
21 at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22 “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you.

Giving instruction to his son, Solomon personifies Wisdom as a woman to be wooed.  Proverbs 3:13-24 says:
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
    and the one who gets understanding,
 for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
    and her profit better than gold.
 She is more precious than jewels,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.
 Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.
 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
    those who hold her fast are called blessed.
 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
    by understanding he established the heavens;
 by his knowledge the deeps broke open,
    and the clouds drop down the dew.
 My son, do not lose sight of these—
    keep sound wisdom and discretion,
 and they will be life for your soul
    and adornment for your neck.
 Then you will walk on your way securely,
    and your foot will not stumble.
 If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Wisdom is like a beautiful bride who brings blessing to her husband.  As Adam needed his bride in the garden, so we need the Holy Spirit's wisdom daily in order to live a blessed life.  Trusting in ourselves sounds good, but God would prefer that we trusted Him.  Divine wisdom is available to all who will pursue Her with their whole heart.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
    and refreshment to your bones.
(Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV)

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