Wisdom the craftsman

I’ve been working this week on one of my favorite passages from the Old Testament, Proverbs 8. In this book of wisdom, a voice is given to wisdom itself. A voice that summons us to lives of discernment, prudence, humility, but also prosperity and power. Wisdom is the repudiation of the ugliest side of our nature: pride, arrogance, and perversity.

Buried in this chapter is this essential idea: even before the universe existed, there was the wisdom of God. ““The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began” (vss. 22-23). And wisdom says: “I was the craftsman at his side” when the world was created.

What this means is that the created order of things bears the mark of the wisdom of God. As we know all too well the created order (most notably in human nature itself) has become fragmented, fractured, and twisted. Sometimes you look at the world and it is hard to find any wisdom. But behind all the layers of dirt and grime, deeper than all the cracks and fissures, is this Great Idea with which God created all things.

The motto of The Brook Network is “sharing ideas, pursuing wisdom” because we need to proactively work at finding the wisdom of God. We need the Great Idea God had when he created human beings in his image. That is our only hope for fulfillment, for marriages that work, for families that hold together, for daily work that is meaningful, for friendships that are satisfying. The wisdom of God is what a life of faith seeks to apprehend. It is what we are to be about. And we need wisdom in leadership. In the church, in our communities, in business.

How important is it that we pursue wisdom? Let wisdom speak the answer: “For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD. But whoever fails to find me harms himself” (Prov. 8:35-36).

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