“The Lord possessed me [Wisdom] at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of old.
23 Ages ago I was set up,
at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there;
when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,
when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world
and delighting in the children of man.
32 “And now, O sons, listen to me:
blessed are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
34 Blessed is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me injures himself;
all who hate me love death.”
In Proverbs 8, Wisdom is talking. She’s telling us about creation from her perspective. She was there when God made everything. She was always beside God, a master workman, God’s daily delight.
God doesn’t do anything without Wisdom by his side. That includes the incarnation. Wisdom was at Creation (God’s word becoming flesh). But Wisdom was also at the second creation – the incarnation (God’s word becoming flesh again). Wisdom begins by believing that God created the world. If you don’t believe that God is the source of all things and that all things belong to him and exist for his glory, then you are a fool.
But wisdom continues by believing that God became the creation. This is the incarnation. The Advent. Christmas. Without Christmas, there is no wisdom. If you don’t believe that God became one if us to save us, you are a fool.
The very cool thing about Proverbs 8 is that Wisdom is personified. Many see a type of Christ in this. He is the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24). He is wisdom personified. God did not send us just a book of wisdom. He didn’t give us maxims to get us through life. The book of Proverbs is not our salvation. It points to our salvation – Jesus Christ the person.
The irony of Christmas is that the whole thing is so foolish by this world’s standards. That’s why we have changed the narrative of Christmas. Christmas is no longer about God becoming a human baby in order to show us the wisdom of God’s love, grace, and salvation, and the wisdom of humanity’s dependency upon God, and submission, and faith. No. Instead our Christmas story today is about saving ourselves by figuring out how to be better people and usher in our own peace on earth good will toward us.
A nice sentiment, but not true wisdom.
You see the true wisdom of God is the folly of the cross. That is what they waited for for thousands of years. Not a sage or guru to rescue them from stupidity. They waited for a Savior who would give everything, even his own life for them, in one of the most insane acts of love ever recorded – dying for a world that rejects you.
“To live is Christ” means having this Wisdom inside of you. You are joined to it. United to the Wisdom that is Christ. The wisdom that is folly. The wisdom of sacrificial love and grace that only a baby in a manger that grows up to die on a cross could demonstrate.
Do you consider Christmas and incarnation to be true wisdom? What about the cross? How can your union with Christ allow God’s true Wisdom to be revealed in the world today?