Wisdom, Creation and Duty

Proverbs 3:19-35

In this post, we’ll finish up chapter 3 as we see the fifth and sixth discourses.

Wisdom in Creation

Solomon shifts his thinking somewhat in this discourse, from an exhortation to pursue and attain wisdom, to what God’s wisdom has accomplished in creation and in our lives. He begins in verses 19-20 making what I consider to be a very interesting point: God put His wisdom into action to create the universe. Elsewhere in Scripture, particularly in the New Testament, we see God’s act of creation stemming from His powerful Word. Yet here, Solomon asserts that God’s wisdom and knowledge was the essential ingredient for the Creation. Is this a contradiction, or is it another way of saying the same thing?

In my view, it is the latter, for what is God’s Word, what does it consist of? God’s Word is first and foremost a Person, and that Person is Truth and Wisdom itself; that Person is Jesus Christ. Thus, when God spoke the words to create the universe, those words were the very divine application of His wisdom and knowledge, as well as the application of His power. Verses 21-26 encourage the students to apply wisdom to their everyday lives, for in doing so, they will avoid the pitfalls of life, they will be confident in their comings and goings because they have an ally in God, whose divine attribute of wisdom they will have made their own attribute.

Wisdom and duty

This, the sixth discourse, extends from verse 27 through the end of the chapter, and it seeks to apply what has been said in the previous section. Wisdom is a divine attribute, and as such it requires that a person apply it properly in their daily life when dealing with others. The first part of this discourse is in verses 27-30 in which several examples of conduct are given; take a look at them. I don’t know about you, but these verses remind me of something Jesus taught: “Do unto others as you would they should do unto you.” The next verse sums this up as it transitions to the final part of the passage in telling us that we should not emulate the ways of the violent. As we go on through this book, you might notice that the violent and the fool are terms used to describe those who reject the divine attribute of wisdom. Essentially, these refer to the same person that Jesus would later call the proud.

Verses 31-35 tell the students that the Lord will not tolerate our rejection of wisdom, and thus any such rejection will result in disaster. I must point out that the tradition of Judaism is in every sense a tradition of wisdom; we would do well to study the wisdom of Judaism. Christianity, on the other hand, is based upon relationship, the relationship brought about by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As we grow in our relationship with Him, we become wise in His ways, just as Solomon’s students would become wise as they sought education, knowledge and wisdom.

It would appear at this point that wisdom is a type of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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3 Responses to Wisdom, Creation and Duty

  1. Tom says:

    Another excellent teaching. We must use the wisdom of the Old Testament guided by the Holy Spirit to know how to live out the salvation that Jesus had provided. It is not one or the other but both together.

  2. “God’s Word is first and foremost a Person, and that Person is Truth and Wisdom itself; that Person is Jesus Christ.” We forget that Jesus is in and master of the Old Testament, too. Thanks, Don.

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