Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wise Up!

The Spring Quarter begins with six powerful lessons in Unit 1 under the topic heading "The Word Was in the Beginning." This week's lesson looks at the role of Wisdom and its divine origin in Proverbs 8:22-35. If the Christian allows, these verses can be confusing. Some people wrestle with the idea of Wisdom's being an eternal quality of God and, yet, it is spoken of here as being created. It should be remembered King Solomon penned these poetic verses as a metaphor and a form of personification. He chose to paint a metaphorical picture of wisdom as feminine in nature, intimately associated with creation, and very clever in presenting her arguments. On the other hand, he made sure the reader was aware that Wisdom is a personal characteristic of God. King Solomon did not know King Jesus. However, there are some commentators who believe his description of Wisdom also speaks to the Wisdom of Jesus. 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.' John 1:1

'The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.' Prov 8:22 The poetic Wisdom brags that she was possessed by God from the beginning. Rather than a possession though, wisdom is a quality of God which He has never existed without, and neither has He ever existed without the Person of His Son. God needed His quality of wisdom to create the heavens and earth along with His Son, who also has the quality of wisdom.

'I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.' Prov 8:23 Jesus was appointed/annointed as our Redeemer/Mediator from the beginning. The poetic Wisdom argues her presence prior to the creation. Jesus was present before the heavens and the earth. (Gen 1:1) He was set up and purposed both in the creation and the redemption, from everlasting, and will be present to everlasting.

'When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:' Prov 8:24-25 Before the oceans, fountains and springs, mountains and hills, the poetic Wisdom was established. Jesus was brought forth as the only-begotten Son of the Father because God is omniscient. In His infinite wisdom, God knew before he created the heavens and earth that man would need Jesus our Savior. 'In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.' 1 John 4:9

'While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.' Prov 8:26 God had not yet made the earth, its fields, the beginnings of the world. As the dust of the earth had not been formed, neither had the first Adam. Sin had not entered the scene as yet. Due to sin, man now returns to the dust of the earth. 'All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.' Eccl 3:20

'When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:' Prov 8:27-29 The poetic Wisdom was present at the actual time of creation, according to the poet King Solomon. It was there when the heavens appeared, the clouds, the oceans, springs, and all the boundaries of the earth. In fact, wisdom was present as a characteristic of God when He created the heavens and earth, which includes the entire galaxy and internal structure that supports each planet. Man does not have the wisdom to create. Man can only make or imitate.

'Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;' Prov 8:30 The poetic Wisdom is described as a craftsman that was at God's side during the unfolding of creation. She glories that she brought delight to Him daily. The same is true with Jesus. He is the Word. 'The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.' John 1:2-3 He is the Son of god. Jesus was divinely skilled and God was delighted perpetually, rejoicing always.

'Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.' PROV 8:31 The poetic Wisdom rejoiced in the habitable part of earth. The Father and Son created the heavens and earth. 'The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.' Psalm 19:1-3 There is much to rejoice, whether concerning the heavens, earth, or situations. 'Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.' Philip 4:4 The poetic Wisdom rejoiced in the work of creation, especially her delight with the sons of men. God, the Father, and Jesus Christ have taken a special delight in man, even though we have been disobedient to His will and way. In the Old Testament, Jesus made special appearances; i.e. Gen 14:18, Daniel 3:25. In the New Testament, He was born of a Virgin and appeared as the Son of Man. As man, Jesus was killed, but as deity he was raised by His Father to give the sons of man the opportunity to eternal life and access to God. (Romans 10:9-10)

'Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.' Prov 8:32-34 The poetic Wisdom appeals to her "children" to listen to her instructions. There are benefits in her instructions. If her "children" are obedient to her ways, they will receive blessings. They will be happy. But they must listen to her instructions and not ignore them. She promises happiness to those who watch daily at her gates and keep a daily post at her door. In reality, we keep a daily post at the door by continuing to read our Bibles daily and pray (communicate) with God in the name of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Reject not the counsel of God. We must open our minds and hear what God is saying to us. We must submit ourselves to Him willingly, constantly, and with an attentive ear. We must be obedient.

'For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.' Prov 8:35 King Solomon did not really understand eternal life, per se. Jesus Christ had not given believers that opportunity as yet. The poetic Wisdom is encouraging all to find her in order to find good life, physically. The eternal life had not been developed. Upon the arrival of Christ in the New Testament, many of the prophecies were fulfilled. We now have an understanding of our right to eternal life and access to God. Now we can say whosoever findeth Christ receives eternal life and stands in full favor with God. 'These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.' John 17:1-3

'But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.' Prov 8:36 Those who hate the poetic Wisdom injure themselves. They love death. It is folly to hate Christ. The only pathway to God is through Christ. John 14:6

Written by Deborah C Davis

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