10/06/2010

Through Wisdom, God Created the World (Proverbs 8:1-36)

All men have this in common: they want to be happy. But to most people, happiness is as elusive as the clouds and as transient as eating a good meal, only to be hungry again. Probably, we agree that we need wisdom to be happy, for if we say and do dumb things, happiness will not likely be the result. Also, wisdom comes by revelation, "For the Lord gives wisdom" (2:6). Yet wisdom cries out to us, and we are encouraged to seek it.

In Proverbs 8, verse 35 says, "For whoever finds me (wisdom) finds life and obtains favor from the Lord." In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is closely related to and used synonymously with the following (1:2-6):
  • Instruction or training (1:2a, 3a),
  • Understanding or insight (1:2b, 6),
  • Wise dealing (1:3a),
  • Schrewdness or prudence (1:4a) and discretion (1:4b),
  • Knowledge and learning (1:5).

Thus, wisdom is for anyone who wants it bad enough. In Proverbs 8, the progress of the thought regarding wisdom may be traced somewhat as follows:

  1. Wisdom is a guide for everybody (8:1-5).
  2. Wisdom is the partner of morality (8:6-13).
  3. Wisdom is the key to all success (8:14-21).
  4. Wisdom is the principle of creation (8:22-31).
  5. Wisdom is the one necessity of life and the key to everything (8:32-36).

8:1-5 Wisdom is: 1st, for the common man (2,3); 2nd, for the simpletons (5); 3rd, wisdom is actively seeking us (1,6, etc), so that our search, as earnest as it has to be, is a response.

8:6-13) Wisdom and knowledge is inseparably connected with the fear of the Lord (1:7; 9:10). Thus wisdom and godliness always wholy coincide; nobility and morality are intertwined (6-8). "The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate" (13).

8:14-21 Wisdom's rewards and blessings are both material (14-18) and immaterial, with the latter being the far greater blessing and reward (19-21; 10,11).

8:22-31 Wisdom was present with God when He created the world (22,30). "Wisdom personified claims credit for everything that God created, so that wisdom was first, as God was eternally first. Christ used His eternal wisdom in creation." (Jn 1:1-3; 1 Co 1:24,30) (John MacArthur) The New Testament, likely drawing from Proverbs 8, insists that Jesus Christ is the incarnation of that divine person through whom God made the world.

8:32-36 Those who heed wisdom's call are "blessed" (32,34), and "finds life and obtains favor from the Lord" (35). Those who don't "injures himself" and "love death" (36).