The Word and Wisdom Incarnate

Proverbs 8-9:6 is a personification of Wisdom. In verses 12-21, we see how Wisdom is viewed as a woman trying to bring blessing and right living. Following the guidance of Wisdom and listening to her leads us to greatness, even if not materially, at least in the eyes of God. In verses 22-31, we see that Lady Wisdom existed as the first element of creation and has existed up until now and rejoices in the joys that God has bestowed on humanity. In 8:32-9:6, Wisdom is imploring all people of God to come and accept what she has to offer. Wisdom is a life giver and is part of God’s gifts to us. In one aspect, Wisdom is revelation of God. Wisdom, however, is not about simple discernment from life experience or even our culture’s advice. It is the fear (or awe) of God’s power which leads to obedience of him, as we see in Proverbs 1:7.

John 1:1-18 is paralleled with this passage, but with exchanging Lady Wisdom with Christ. In verses 1-5, Jesus is identified as the Word of God (as opposed to modern Christianity which says that primary Word of God is the Bible). This Word existed from before creation and with God up to now, which changes the Old Testament understanding of Wisdom. Jesus is wisdom or the Word, but was not created. He also is part of what brings the goodness of God to people. In verses 10-13, the effects of aligning yourself with Jesus are a little different. Where the call of Lady Wisdom is directed to the people of God and is related to Torah, this passage is directed to the audience of the New Testament, which includes all the other nations that did not follow Torah. Although Christ is the only begotten Son of God in 3:16, we are still able to be called children of God by aligning ourselves with Christ and others who with Him. In verse 14, the major difference is noted, and that is this is revelation of God by God coming in human flesh. Lady Wisdom is personified metaphorically, but Christ really did come into humanity to live among us. This is the game changer and really takes Proverbs 8-9:6 to another level.

These two passages paralleled show a little piece of the character of God. God, since the fall of humanity has been trying to reveal Himself to all of humanity in order to bring them into His family. This is the point of the Old Testament passage we have looked at here. By the time that the Old Testament was canonized by the Jewish people (90 A.D.), it was known through the prophetic writings that just because you were ethically Jewish did not mean you were faithful to the Torah. John noted this by saying that all believed in Christ as the Word were the ones who were part of God’s family. This is what brings the passages into relationship, Lady Wisdom according to the New Testament reader is Christ. Our true source of good, which is God, can be found through viewing Christ. God is continually chasing us in love and is constantly in the process of drawing the curtains back so that His great plan can be clear to us. We must trust that kind of God, a God of love who is constantly chasing us.

When we evangelize, we need to note this kind of God. God has given and revealed constantly that he is good. When people see this goodness, they will be inclined to love this God over and above a negative fear of God.

What is your view of God? Is He constantly chasing you? Is He trying to reveal His goodness to you? Are you sharing that God who has revealed Himself as Wisdom or as His Word in flesh?