When wisdom speaks
“Joyful are those who listen to me…” — Proverbs 8:34a
Wisdom is personified in the Book of Proverbs. As we look at our text tomorrow (Proverbs 8), “she” was there before God created anything else (verse 22). That alone must have been very exciting.
For us, this next part may not be so exciting. She calls us her children (verse 32). In so doing, she makes it clear that she has it and we don’t. She’s in the know—she is Wisdom, after all—and we are bumper cars at the fair of life. We sorta kinda schlep along or get hit hard now and again.
Now, speaking of wisdom (lower case ‘w’), we’ve all be advised. Some of our great teachers are great because they respect us, hear us, and coach us not generally but specifically. Knowing us as they do, their council is specific, not stock.
There have also been times we’ve been told what to do. And even if you were never a rebellious teenager, we have all turned away from council for three likely reasons: (1) we didn’t respect the one doling out the wisdom nuggets, (2) we thought we knew better, or (3) the wisdom councilor never helped us see that—gulp—we actually didn’t know. They talked over us, not to us.
If we approach this scripture from any of the three places just described, we are likely going to miss the genuineness and the gentleness that comes within our text this Sunday. Wisdom is not speaking down to us. Instead, I hear Wisdom speaking through us poetically, not punitively. Her words are warm. Her tone is inviting. In the love she has for us, we are drawn to her, especially when she says, “For whoever finds me finds life (35a).”
I see her face turning sad and vacant when she adds what I hear her say more to herself than to us, “But those who miss me injure themselves (36a).”
Personify Wisdom yourself. When you have it (her), realize it is love you feel, not remorse.
Love Wisdom by seeking Wisdom.
PRAYER: Help me with those bumps, Lord. Hear that I welcome Wisdom. Amen.