Christ, the Wisdom of God

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Today we scale the heights of Wisdom’s work, and it reminds us immediately of Christ’s role in creation. So come today praising Christ, the one through whom all things were made, and who sustains all things by his powerful word.


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Bible passage Proverbs 8:22–36


 22 “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,
   before his deeds of old;
23 I was formed long ages ago,
   at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
24 When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
   when there were no springs overflowing with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
   before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the world or its fields
   or any of the dust of the earth.
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
   when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
   and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 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.
 30 Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
   rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
   and delighting in mankind.

 32 “Now then, my children, listen to me;
   blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
   do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me,
   watching daily at my doors,
   waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life
   and receive favor from the LORD.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
   all who hate me love death.”



New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society


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The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).


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Jesus our Wisdom
As we read this hymn to the role of Wisdom as God’s ‘right-hand woman’ (v 30) in creation, and as the source of our continuing life (v 35), the Christian reader of Proverbs 8 cannot help but transfigure Lady Wisdom into Jesus Christ.

The New Testament writers draw upon her role as the well-spring of creation, and mediator of the presence of God, and see her as prefiguring Christ (see Colossians 1:15–20), who ‘became for us wisdom from God’ (1 Corinthians 1:30), and who Luke describes as ‘filled with wisdom’ (Luke 2:40). It is not unreasonable, then, to read this description of Wisdom’s role as revealer of God, active in creation, as a preparation for its full unfolding in Christ. So read the chapter again in this light.

Christ-focused
There is no simple equivalence, though, for Christ is not a created being (v 22), but ‘the only-begotten Son of the Father’, and is the one through whom all things have been created. However, the same close attention to Christ is exactly what Wisdom calls for – find Christ, and you’ll find life and God’s grace, or favour (v 35).

If Christ embodies all that Lady Wisdom is, then above all listen to him.


Respond


Today, watch and wait for Christ, and in him you’ll find life.

Paul Goodliff


Deeper Bible study


Be thou my wisdom, O Lord of my heart.

Today’s reading is the last three of the seven stanzas of Proverbs 8. The first begins, ‘The Lord…’ (v 22); the second begins, ‘I…’ (v 27); and the third begins, ‘Now then, my children…’ (v 32). An atmosphere of delight, of happiness pervades the reading. In the first stanza I ponder all the ‘before’ words – before anything was created, Wisdom was with God, as a child. In the second stanza I note all the ‘when’ words – the whole process of creation is saturated with joy and delight; verse 30b is literally, ‘I was delights…’ – ie nothing but delight. The song concludes, ‘Listen, watch, wait, search, find’ and verses 35 and 36 set out the alternatives starkly: ‘My finder … finds life; my miss-er harms himself/herself and loves death.’

Wisdom takes me back to the foundation of the world and of my life. Before anything was made, there wisdom was! When the Lord made the framework of the universe and filled form with content, there wisdom was! It was delightful fun; everything was in its place. Johannes Kepler said of his astronomical researches, ‘I feel that I am thinking God’s thoughts after him’1. I picture the naturalist, the scientist, the artist, the gardener enjoying his work, his discoveries, his skill – and I give thanks.

In the fourth century the Arians used this passage to argue that Christ was a created being, not eternally divine. A knowledgeable Jehovah’s Witness may do the same today, but this passage is metaphorical, not a predictive description of Jesus. Jesus Christ fulfils this poetic description in an inconceivably grand way, because he is himself the Word, the Wisdom and the Power of God (Colossians 1:15–17; 2:3; Hebrews 1:1–4; Revelation 3:14). This chapter is the climax of the introduction to the book of Proverbs and the foundation for all the down-to-earth, worldly-wise sayings in the following chapters.

Howard Peskett

 

1 Source unknown


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Song: Your words are life
Composer: Noel Richard and Tim Sherrington
Copyright: Copyright © 2008 Thank you Music
Buy this and other great worship songs here

Knowing you
Graham Kendrick
Copyright © 1993 Make Way Music
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Comments
  • Rachael Hampton | Thursday, 03 August 2017

    Praying for you Carol. May the tests be revealing and provide guidance for treatment. You path does not need to be 'even harder'. David, I'm thinking that 'lawful hatred' would be against evil,and the sin that destroys God's wise and beautiful purposes for mankind and this earth. I have developed a lawful hatred of takeaway coffee cups and plastic packaging! 😊

  • Ruth Chisholm | Friday, 04 August 2017

    The expression "wealth of wisdom" has been brought to mind, wealth not as the world defines it but wealth from the vast and unfathomable depths of blessings from our father God available to each of us through our lord and saviour Jesus. Oh what riches we have, thank you precious Jesus that you paid the way for us to enter into this eternal inheritance.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Friday, 04 August 2017

    1 Corinthians 1:24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. He has given us all we ever need and so much more.

  • Ruth Chisholm | Friday, 04 August 2017

    CAROL I was pondering this morning before I got up, how do we find the strength to manage these uncertain times, and the verse on my daily calendar is Isaiah 33:2 Lord , be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. Praying for you, for positive outcomes and for the tangible presence of our Lord walking with you. May He bless you and keep you, may his face shine upon you and give you his peace.

  • Ruth Chisholm | Friday, 04 August 2017

    This fellowship is one of my many blessings, the wisdom and encouragement from the many posts, there are so many new posters recently as well as the regulars. Such faithful prayer warriors too, please can you add me to your prayers. Signs of my cancer have become evident in my liver, very small, but this now changes my treatment from maintenance, where I have been able to manage a pretty normal life, to more aggressive treatment. I start chemotherapy again on 14 August, then Mondays weekly for 12 weeks, my prayer request is i guess, as I prayed for Carol above, I might add a few specifics as the treatment kicks in! Also that my testimony to God's love through all of this, to my two adult sons, both churched but living away from home in both senses, will speak profoundly to them. That God's glory shines through all of this. Thank you

  • Thelma Edwards | Friday, 04 August 2017

    Yes Jeff - this is helpful. I agree with your comment yesterday in response to David. "'God hates sin but loves the sinner'........end up accepting a sin because we love the sinner, so that our white becomes slightly grey." So subtly has a watered down version of truth and righteousness become absorbed into our cultural norms and what we used to think was sin becomes excused, reasoned away, and then acceptable. Enlightenment conflicts with Wisdom on many of our moral dilemmas and has infected the Christian Church so that in the name of Grace and Love what was once called Sin is now given a welcome and a home. Jesus did forgive the woman caught in adultery but He still told her to 'Go and sin no more'. The sin remained a sin and Jesus commanded a departure from that way of life. I think a hatred of sin is 'lawful' but how we apply the concept of hating the sin but loving the sinner without compromising is a big challenge.

  • Angela Munday | Friday, 04 August 2017

    "All those who follow my ways are joyful." Joy is very infectious but is worth catching; it is a life-changer and more fulfilling than anything else can ever be. CAROL:- praying that the pain you mentioned in January has been manageable; I will continue to remember you daily in my prayers.....RUTH:- You are so courageous in your daily battle and my prayers continue for all you ask as you walk through each valley before you, knowing our LORD is there with you. May the peace of our LORD be with you both and also praying for JANE and DIANA. Amen.

  • Derek Forster | Friday, 04 August 2017

    ‘Fear not, I am with you; O be not dismayed, For I am your God, and will still give you aid; I’ll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand, Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand. ‘When thro’ fiery trials your pathway shall lie, My grace, all-sufficient, shall be your supply; The flame shall not hurt you; I only design Thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.

  • Barbara Sabin | Friday, 04 August 2017

    Thine is the Kingdom, Lord, Thou art the King of kings; Thy realm enfolds the universe And Heaven its tribute brings; Though evil forces seem On earth to hold the sway, Thy loyal peoples wait in faith To hail thy crowning day. Thine is the power, O Lord, Nor Heaven nor earth can break; The oceans move at thy command, The stars their courses make. Thou canst the breath of man Bestow or canst withhold; Of all the wonders of thy power No tongue has ever told. Thine is the glory, Lord, The greatness and the praise, The final victory over death, The end of mortal days. All majesty is thine, Beyond the poet's pen,For thou art life, and light and love: Amen, amen, amen Remembering you all in prayer that you will have your spiritual armour firmly in place for what lies ahead.

  • Colin Anderson | Friday, 04 August 2017

    I was fascinated to read yesterday about the discovery of dark matter in our universe. Gives some insight into the wonder of God : http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40817897

  • Lynda Spencer | Friday, 04 August 2017

    Having returned from two weeks away on holiday, and several days with family, I have just spent a truly blessed evening catching up on comments and prayer requests. While away I was able to access the Bible readings and commentaries on my phone, but was not able to access or interact with the personal comments, so it is lovely to be back with you all and be able to pray more intelligently for recent needs. Ruth and Carol, in particular, my heart goes out to you. You are in my prayers tonight. God bless you all.

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