[The personified voice of wisdom is talking:]
The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;
I was formed long ages ago,
at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
when there were no springs overflowing with water;
before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
before he made the world or its fields
or any of the dust of the earth.
I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
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.
Then I was constantly 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.
This passage shows wisdom as God’s creation as well as God’s creative force.
Wisdom is revealed in God’s creation and it is also through wisdom that God made the world.
Wisdom is described as existing before the creation of the world as well as being a witness to God’s acts of creation, at God’s side while he created.
What can I learn from this?
- True wisdom is something outside of human knowledge. According to these verses, it predates humanity itself.
- Wisdom was created by God, in fact, these verses describe wisdom as the “first of his works”.
- Wisdom rejoices in the works of God’s hands including the whole world as well as mankind.
- Wisdom delights in the presence of God.
What are the implications of this?
- Human wisdom is only ever a shadow or a reflection of true wisdom. True wisdom existed before the creation of the world. A materialist worldview that acknowledges only what can be seen, touched, tasted, and empirically tested will fall short of this form of wisdom.
- God himself created wisdom. If we experience wisdom its because of the ability that God created inside of us to be wise. But wisdom will fall short if we do not seek to understand what God himself wants of us.
- Wisdom acknowledges that everything we see was created by a creator – God. This should lead to praise and delight just as described above.
- If wisdom delights in the presence of God, perhaps we should, too?
This kind of wisdom is what sets the Christian worldview radically apart from any other. Our whole basis of knowledge and understanding is altered when we put God in his place as the powerful creator of this world, as well as the creator of wisdom.
The Biblical story tells me that while wisdom could rejoice in God’s presence from the creation of the world, I can only approach God because his son Jesus opened the way through his death on the cross.
It reminds me of this verse about true Christian wisdom – a wisdom that seems like foolishness to those who don’t believe.
1 Corinthians 1:18-21
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. For it is written:I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will set aside the understanding of the experts. Where is the philosopher?Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was pleased to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached.