Wisdom Wants to Be Known

The personified Wisdom is anything but passive. She is passionate towards those who love her:

Wisdom shouts in the streets.
She cries out in the public square.
She calls to the crowds along the main street,
to those gathered in front of the city gate:
“How long, you simpletons,
will you insist on being simpleminded?
How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
How long will you fools hate knowledge?
Come and listen to my counsel.
I’ll share my heart with you
and make you wise.

Proverbs 1:20-23 (NLT)

This passage and others like it  underscore the egalitarianism of the Proverbs.  Wisdom reaches out to the masses on Main Street, not simply to the societal or religious elite.  J. Vernon McGee says, “if it is really wisdom, it is going to be simple, and it will appeal to the simple.  I’m thankful that God did not make the gospel appeal only to folk who have a high I.Q.”

Moreover, as Charles Bridges observed, “Wisdom shouts in the streets, not the temple.” Wisdom is not a result of religious ritual, nor is it reserved only for the members of a particular group. Indeed, the Book of Proverbs has almost nothing to say about how people should pray or conduct themselves inside a house of worship. Instead, wisdom is primarily concerned with how we act in the marketplace, in our homes, in our workplaces, and in all the various venues of our daily lives.

Notice also how eagerly Wisdom seeks us out. This runs contrary to virtually every other religious worldview, all of which posit some hidden means of reaching God—a system that requires some secret training, instruction, or knowledge. The same picture of a God who seeks us out is evident throughout both the Old and New Testament well—first and foremost, of course, in Jesus, the one and only Son of God who was born and died so that we might live. Most of the books in the Old Testament were written by prophets, whose very title means “a person who speaks for God.” Through Isaiah, God said, “I have not spoken in secret.” And the Apostle Paul “bec[a]me all things to all men so that by all possible means [he] might save some.”

As forward as she is, however, Wisdom will never force us to join her.  To commune with her, we must choose to accept her invitation.

 

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