Thursday after the Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Proverbs 8-10 (NKJV)
8:1 Does not wisdom cry out, and understanding lift up her voice? 2 She takes her stand on the top of the high hill, beside the way, where the paths meet. 3 She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city, at the entrance of the doors: 4 “To you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the sons of men. 5 O you simple ones, understand prudence, and you fools, be of an understanding heart. 6 Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, and from the opening of my lips will come right things; 7 For my mouth will speak truth; Wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8 All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; Nothing crooked or perverse is in them. 9 They are all plain to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge. 10 Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold; 11 For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion. 13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. 14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. 15 By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. 16 By me princes rule, and nobles, all the judges of the earth. 17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. 18 Riches and honor are with me, enduring riches and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver. 20 I traverse the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of justice, 21 that I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries.
22 “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. 23 I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth; 26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. 27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 when He established the clouds above, when He strengthened the fountains of the deep, 29 when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth, 30 then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, 31 rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men.
32 “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. 34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the LORD; 36 But he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; All those who hate me love death.”
9:1 Wisdom has built her house, she has hewn out her seven pillars; 2 She has slaughtered her meat, she has mixed her wine, she has also furnished her table. 3 She has sent out her maidens, she cries out from the highest places of the city, 4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” As for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. 6 Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.
7 “He who corrects a scoffer gets shame for himself, and he who rebukes a wicked man only harms himself. 8 Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. 9 Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For by me your days will be multiplied, and years of life will be added to you. 12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself, and if you scoff, you will bear it alone.”
13 A foolish woman is clamorous; She is simple, and knows nothing. 14 For she sits at the door of her house, on a seat by the highest places of the city, 15 to call to those who pass by, who go straight on their way: 16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here”; And as for him who lacks understanding, she says to him, 17 “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.” 18 But he does not know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of hell.
10:1 The Proverbs of Solomon:
A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is the grief of his mother.
2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing, but righteousness delivers from death.
3 The LORD will not allow the righteous soul to famish, but He casts away the desire of the wicked.
4 He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
5 He who gathers in summer is a wise son; He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.
6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
7 The memory of the righteous is blessed, but the name of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise in heart will receive commands, but a prating fool will fall.
9 He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known.
10 He who winks with the eye causes trouble, but a prating fool will fall.
11 The mouth of the righteous is a well of life, but violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.
13 Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, but a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.
14 Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.
15 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city; The destruction of the poor is their poverty.
16 The labor of the righteous leads to life, the wages of the wicked to sin.
17 He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray.
18 Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool.
19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver; The heart of the wicked is worth little.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many, but fools die for lack of wisdom.
22 The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.
23 To do evil is like sport to a fool, but a man of understanding has wisdom.
24 The fear of the wicked will come upon him, and the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25 When the whirlwind passes by, the wicked is no more, but the righteous has an everlasting foundation.
26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, so is the lazy man to those who send him.
27 The fear of the LORD prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened.
28 The hope of the righteous will be gladness, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
29 The way of the LORD is strength for the upright, but destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.
30 The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not inhabit the earth.
31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.
In Proverbs 8, Wisdom is personified. She is the bride who is to be sought after, as comparing Proverbs 31 with this chapter makes clear: “For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.”
Yet, who is the wisdom of God, if not Christ Jesus? This reality leads Bible commentators to all sorts of wrong conclusions, but it should be no more difficult than the understanding that the Church—including men—is the Bride of Christ and that the equality of men and women (and, thus, Jew and Greek, slave and free) in terms of salvation is specified in saying that all of those who have been Baptized into Christ and trust in the promise in Him are “sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” One should desire Wisdom—should desire Christ—as fully as one would desire a spouse with whom to be one flesh. That is a description of the bare minimum: “As much as you desire above all other things a wonderful wife, young man, you are to desire the wisdom of God and power of God unto salvation, Christ Jesus and Him crucified, that much more.”
All of creation was laid out in Wisdom—was laid out according to Christ: all was made to show God’s love for mankind from the very beginning. Both creation and all history have been ordered so that even when Man has chosen and done against Him, the ultimate goal of restoration to holiness and bliss in Christ is being brought to pass.
O Triune God, bring us to desire the wisdom that brings salvation—even God the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ—above all things, as in Him alone is forgiveness, life, and salvation. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.