Monday, June 12, 2017

Counseled By The King: The Proverbs Of Solomon. Day 19, Wisdom Is Power, Part Three

Solomon has been providing us with a number of reasons why it is powerful to possess godly wisdom. Just in case he hasn't convinced us yet, today he will point out that wisdom is the first thing God created. If wisdom is so important that God created it before He created the world, this proves to us how much we need it.

Wisdom says of herself, "I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me." (Proverbs 8:17) Solomon has been telling us that wisdom is not hard to find. He personifies wisdom as a woman who lifts her voice and invites all mankind to learn of the Lord. He portrays her as standing where every path diverges and at every entrance and exit of every town. In other words, we would have to stubbornly cover our ears and shut our eyes in order to avoid her. We can never use the excuse that wisdom was too hard to find.

"With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full." (Proverbs 8:18-21) In these verses we are reminded of what the Lord Jesus said when He spoke of the treasures we can store up for ourselves in heaven. Godly wisdom may or may not provide us with riches on earth, but it will provide us with an inheritance no one can ever take from us. Jesus said it was far more important to store up eternal heavenly treasures than to accumulate temporary earthly treasures, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matthew 6:19-21) It's difficult for someone who is morally and spiritually unwise to make the sensible decisions that cause earthly wealth to accumulate. It's far more difficult, in fact impossible, to store up heavenly treasures without godly wisdom.

I want to stop and make an important point before we look at the remainder of today's passage. Quite a few commentators, scholars, and evangelists have attempted to equate the person of wisdom in the book of Proverbs with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Up to a point this theory holds, but our current chapter is where it breaks down. First of all, in today's chapter wisdom is said to have been created, and Christ was not created. The Apostle John clearly states that Jesus was with God in the beginning and that Jesus is God and that nothing was created without Jesus. (John 1:1-3) Since Jesus is God, He cannot have been created, because He has always existed. Second, we would have to question why Solomon would choose to present the Son of God as a woman. We would expect him to personify wisdom as a man because he would have expected the coming Messiah to be the king promised to the line of David. In addition, we have observed that wisdom possesses qualities similar to all three persons of the Trinity, and I think this is because wisdom comes from the entire Godhead as a whole, not because wisdom represents Christ or any person of the Trinity. So I must agree with those scholars (and they are many) who hold to the theory that the person of wisdom in the book of Proverbs and the person of Christ are not one and the same. Certainly we cannot obtain godly wisdom without Christ, but Christ is far more than wisdom. He is light, He is salvation, He is hope, He is strength, He is love, He is righteousness......I could go on and on. But in our next section we will see why wisdom and Christ cannot be equal to each other.

"The Lord brought me forth as the first of His works, before His deeds of old; I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be. When there were no watery depths, I was given birth, when there were no springs overflowing with water; before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, before He made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth. I was there when He set the heavens in place, when He marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when He established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, 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. Then I was constantly at His side. I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in His presence, rejoicing in His whole world and delighting in mankind." (Proverbs 8:22-31) If wisdom did not claim to have been created, we could easily apply these verses to Christ, for He was with God before the universe was called forth, before the earth was formed, before any mountain ever rose up, and before any spring ever burst forth. But the Bible tells us that Christ, unlike wisdom, took an active part in the creation as the Word of God.

Godly wisdom has many of the attributes of Christ because she cannot be obtained without Christ. She was created by Him and therefore she looks a great deal like Him.

Wisdom concludes her discourse with this, "Now then, my children, listen to me; blessed are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death." (Proverbs 8:32-36) Wisdom says, "The Lord is pleased when you find me, for I will teach you about Him. I will help you to walk in His ways. I will give you power and victory over the things of this world that try to destroy you. God created me before He created the world because He knew that you would need me."

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