Wisdom (part 2)

6836A1EE-F2E0-41BE-8139-70AA0C8B9220If you have ever tried to repair or fix anything over the last decade, you know the struggle.  Nothing today is made to be fixed or restored; its meant to be replaced.  Metal can be bent back, plastic is bent to break!  Anyone like me can go online and get replacement parts, but it takes a person of skill and understanding to restore.  Restoration is a process for a craftsman.

To recap last post, Wisdom was:

  • A person (Proverbs 8.12)
  • According to Proverbs 8.22-26, Wisdom was acquired from God, installed from eternity, and in a intimate relationship with Him.
  • According to Proverbs 27-29, Wisdom was with God during creation.

Which brings this study to verse 30:

Then I was the craftsman at his side.  I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind. (Proverbs 8.30-31)

Wisdom was a craftsman.  As discussed prior, Wisdom is simply “ability”.  The first men in Scripture to have been given wisdom were not preachers or priests, they were: tailors (Exodus 28.3); workers in metal (Exodus 31.2-3); women who spun cloth (Exodus 35.26-27); stone cutters, wood workers, and embroiderers (Exodus 35.30-36.3).  One of Paul’s teachings, who himself had some ability and wisdom as a tent maker (Acts 18.3), from 1 Thessalonians 4 is quite applicable here: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands…” (11)  That is a life of wisdom…that is a proverbial life.

I come from a family of craftsman.  My first job was framing houses for my uncle Jim.  He was a good first boss because he knew how limited my ability was .  We were putting on a porch one day at a house up off 90th street.  It was Friday afternoon and it was coming on quitting time.  The porch was a full wrap around with tongue and groove slats.  Right at the corner of the house, it came off at a 45-degree angle to meet with the adjacent run of porch.  As we set the decking, I found myself nearest the wall and reading measurements to the saw man. Very patiently and calmly, after 2-3 meaurements, my uncle Jim stood up, walked over and said, “Why don’t you switch me ends before you ruin your weekend?”  Craftsmanship done by a master craftsman is a thing to behold.  My uncle Joe and uncle Charlie can make any engine run.  My dad can read terrain and build maps with the best.  My uncle Chuck replaces windows and siding.  Uncle Mick can build websites.  I think I can still do Macaroni art.

Wisdom is the master Craftsman of creation.  He is the hands that would do the building.

The last section of Proverbs 8 to consider is verse 32 and those that follow.  A lot is known about a person by what they come bearing.  I always tell first time conference presenters to bring a handout.  It may have taken you 2 minted to type and make 40 copies of, but your audience interprets it as hours more of prep work.  When I was in youth ministry, I would always show up to games with a Gatorade for the student.  It was a dollar and a minute out of the way, but it communicated to them that I  actually cared and prepared.

Th Wisdom character in Proverbs brings so much more than handouts and Gatorades.   Wisdom makes it clar that this point is to be known as he redirects his “sons”/our attention. “Now then, my sons, listen to me…” as if we are jr. high boys with ADD.  He gets to the main point in verse 34:

”For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” (Proverbs 8.34)

Wisdom comes bringing “life” and, in parallel, “favor” from God.  The Hebrew word for life, chay, is the amen word used in:

  • Genesis 2.4 when God breathed into Adam life creating his being
  • Genesis 2 where the tree of life sustaining their being
  • Too many times to count on Scripture when’s statements validity rests upon God’s being, “As surely as the Lord lives…”

Life is about doing the things God created you to do and being who he created to be.  This is only accomplished by finding and attaining wisdom.

As for “favor”, as discussed briefly in a previous post, Noah found “favor” [chen] or “grace” in the eyes of the Lord.  That would fit perfectly here. The problem is that it is not the same Hebrew word.  Same english translation but a different Hebrew word.  Instead, it is a word used of sacrifices to obtain acceptability with God.  The word is ratson and it is used throughout Leviticus to show show God’s acceptance of our offerings.

By seeking and finding Wisdom, we get life and acceptance to the Lord.

So just to recap the five statements about the Wisdom Character in Proverbs:

  • A person (Proverbs 8.12)
  • According to Proverbs 8.22-26, Wisdom was acquired from God, installed from eternity, and in a intimate relationship with Him.
    According to Proverbs 27-29, Wisdom was with God during creation.
  • Wisdom is the master Craftsman of creation. He is the hands that would do the building.
  • By seeking and finding Wisdom, we get life and acceptance to the Lord.

So who is this wisdom?  To be continued…

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