8th in a series.
Proverbs, chapter 8; Wisdom’s Origin
v1. “It is wisdom calling, understanding raising her voice.” Who is this persistent caller? What right does she have to claim my allegiance? Who is she, anyway? With all the things of life I could be enjoying now, why should I give her my attention?
v22. “The Lord created me at the beginning of His course, as the first of His works of old.” Wisdom was the first of God’s created works. This is the “when” of wisdom.
v23. “In the distant past…at the beginning, at the origin of the earth.” She was brought into being at the very beginning. Think back to the distant past and ponder the glory of all that is coming from nothing. Where were you? Where was all you are familiar with? Now think forward to the distant future. Where will you, and yours, be? Too much to comprehend? That’s the “why” of wisdom.
v29. “When He assigned the sea its limits…” Wisdom was there when God put limits on the sea. For a moment consider the glory of God in this one feature: He sets limits. In Job 38:11 He asks regarding the sea, did I not say to the seas, “You may come so far and no farther; here your surging waves will stop?” He also placed limits on the years men would live (Genesis 6:3; Psalm 90:10). He is not an absentee landlord; He constantly watches over the earth to enforce His limits on men. The Psalmist complained bitterly about the trouble caused by the wicked, who seemed to prosper. He complained, that is, “till I entered God’s sanctuary and reflected on their fate.” (Psalm 73:17) “Surely You set them in slippery places…” (Psalm 73:18, New American Standard Bible)
v30. “I was with Him as a confidant…” Wisdom was beside God at the beginning, “as a master workman.” (1) )Where were you? God pressed this question with Job, who complained against Him. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? Speak, if you have understanding. Do you know who fixed its dimensions or who measured it with a line? Onto what were its bases sunk? Who set its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the divine beings shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7) We are mere men and women. Not the most educated of the earth can answer this in the affirmative. None of us were there. We boast but we are humble creatures, weak of stature and shallow of understanding. We need wisdom desperately.
v30b. “…a source of delight every day, rejoicing before Him at all times.” Wisdom is a source of delight to those who find her.
v31. “Rejoicing in His inhabited world, finding delight with mankind.” We know from Genesis 1:31, that at the close of the 6th day, “…God saw all that he had made, and found it very good.” God was not alone. Wisdom was there rejoicing too.
v32. “Now, sons, listen to me…” After describing who she is, wisdom calls us all to seek her and keep her ways.
v35,36. “For he who finds me find life…but he who misses me destroys himself.” This is a true promise from scripture. The choice is clear, and of eternal consequence, for “…how shall we escape if we ignore such a great deliverance?” (Hebrews 2:3) Do not miss finding her. (2)
(1) Same verse from the New American Standard Bible, The Lockman Foundation.
(2) I am still working out the person of wisdom. Sometimes it seems to overlap with the Person of Christ. However, Yeshua was not created; He is God. So at this point, with imperfect understanding, I put it together this way. Wisdom is not God. It is a created thing, perhaps a being or a rendering of the mind of God, personified by scripture. Practically, for us, to seek wisdom is to seek God. Wisdom will always lead the seeker to the Son, and wisdom will always give glory to God, never to itself.
Unless otherwise noted, Old Testament references are from the Hebrew-English TANAKH, published in 2000 by the Jewish Publication Society. New Testament references are from the Jewish New Testament, translated by David H. Stern, published in 1989 by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc.