The Call of Wisdom
(Part 3) Proverbs 8:22-36
by Bob Burridge ©2020
In Proverbs 5, 6 & 7 the ungodly advice of the world is likened to an immoral woman seducing people in the streets. Proverbs 8 points us to a different voice: Wisdom calls out in the streets to rescue fallen humans.
8:1-5 Wisdom’s call goes out to common people in life’s most common situations. It’s not just for philosophers.
8:6-11 We’re reminded that wisdom is more valuable than anything else we might desire.
8:12-21 Wisdom brings great benefits. God’s word is the only right standard for how we should behave ethically, for the personal counsel we give or receive, and for how rulers should rule. Wisdom’s rewards surpass all the world can offer.
Wisdom rests in God’s eternal awareness of the way things really are, and the true purpose behind it all.
In this next section of Proverbs 8, we see that …
(Proverbs 8:22-31) Wisdom was there before God created the universe we know.
22. “The LORD possessed me 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.
Wisdom is an eternal attribute of God. We mere creatures learn and form our ideas about things as we grow and observe things, but true wisdom has always existed. Before anything was created, God had a complete knowlege of all that he is including his eternal triune nature, and of all he would bring into existance and direct by his decrees to display his glory.
In Science we study God’s creation as it’s described here in Proverbs 8. We study the earth with it’s bodies of water, mountains, fields, even the dust itself. We study the heavens, both our skies and all that’s out there beyond our skies in the rest of the universe. The principles of Chemistry, Physics, and Biology were built into creation when God made everything.
Before all our Science, and the things it studies, wisdom has been there, so it’s fundamental to all of reality. In us true wisdom is when we “think and live in obedient submission to what God has made known to us.”
The act of Creation was the beginning of all we see around us and study but wisdom was already there. Creation is one of the most basic and foundational truths revealed in Scripture. The fact that God made everything establishes his ultimate authority over all of life, over all that is. Wisdom tells us how to live in that creation as part of it, fulfilling what we were created to be.
Isaiah 29:15-16 tells us about the potter and the clay he uses to make things. There it says, “Ah, you who hide deep from the LORD your counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?” You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?
When a potter makes something out of clay, he makes it the way he wants it to be. The clay isn’t able to question the potter. We creatures have no right to question our Creator. The foolish clay even accuses the Creator of having no understanding! Since all things are created by God, creation’s purpose is to promote what brings glory to the Creator. Whoever foolishly denies or ignores creation’s purpose is, by definition, “evil”.
Wisdom declares the infinite and eternal nature of God our Creator. The person made declares the glory of the One who made him by the fact of his existance, even when he denies it. That any creature should question his creation, or attempt to explain his origin in any other way, is irrational. Only a very deceived child would try to prove that he never had parents. It’s foolish for a creature to set out to prove he wasn’t created.
He who denies that God created all things may tightly close is eyes to truth, creatively devise alternate theories about his origin, but the hands he uses to make his tools and instruments of science, the eyes that observe and make measurements, the brain that analyses and theorizes, are all the while declaring the glories of the Creator.
All other Scriptural truth gains its meaning from the fact of Creation. If the doctrine of Creation is denied, all meaning is bled from other doctrines of Christianity. Without a Sovereign Creator, there is no purpose in creation, there’s no reason that somethings are right and others wrong, there’s no basis upon which a creatures should be judged, there’s no justification for eternal rewards or punishments, there’s no reason for God sending a Redeemer.
It shouldn’t surprise us that Creation is one of the major areas of attack from unbelievers. It’s no calm intellectual debate. Creation strikes at the vitals of secularism. Atheism vigorously fights back against creationism for its life! The attack is vicious, ruthless, and relentless!
Wisdom tells us that the universe reveals the orderliness of the Creator. Science works because the universe has orderliness built into it. We can count on Science to repeatedly follow that order. Creation involves predictable physical laws.
Those who attack the fact of creation do so from a most compromising position. Critics use their abilities as creatures to study and measure the world around them as they observe its order. They assume an orderly universe to observe and make predictions. Then they attempt to show that order had its origin in chaos. There is no observation that demands that idea. To claim such proof is to assume the order they deny. That is irrationalism, not science! Cornelius VanTil explained that they are like the child who must get up on his uncle’s knee to slap his face. They use the very things created to deny creation.
Without godly wisdom: Natural science looses its foundation. It has no rational explanation for what we are and see around us. Secular Evolutionism has to presume the universe is independent of a Creator. It has to say that the physical universe came first, and our idea of God, and of wisdom, came later.
What people believe deeply effects how they live. Without a Creator, there is no absolute standard for right and wrong.
The denial of a Creator has brought us eugenics. That’s the conviction that we have to control human reproduction to make the race better. They try to answer the question, “How can we improve our evolution to better ensure our future?” The secularist says; “produce better people.” To do this we should refuse to let “inferior” couples have children. They say we should only allow preferred humans to have babies within controlled limits. They say we should fertilize new humans in the laboratory from approved sperm banks. When a child is conceived that they believe will not improve our species, it should be aborted. They would force inferior humans to be sterilized. It’s not just some isolated group that promotes this. It’s part of the program of “Planned Parenthood“.
Dr. Francis Crick (Nobel Prize 1962 for discovering the structure of the DNA molecule) said in a 1971 article, that we can and should control births. He lists some questions we need to ask: How many people should there be in the world? Who should be the parents of the next generation? Then he said, “Some group of people should decide that some people should have more children and some should have fewer… you have to decide who is to be born… I don’t think you’re going to solve all these problems by just tinkering with the genetic material.” Is this where “Pro-Choice” is leading us? It leads to no choice by the ordinary humans. Dr. Crick was an outspoken proponent of abortion rights.
Hitler’s theory of social science was based upon this premise. He wanted to eliminate inferior people to improve humanity. To him that meant only permit the white arian race to live and have children.
Biblical Creationism places a high value on all human life. Humans are created in the image of God. All human life is therefore sacred and to be valued. The fact of creation opposes eugenics, and abortion. It promotes the idea of marriage and family as God’s word describes those things.
Here in Proverbs 8:22-31 wisdom and the truth of God are eternal. They were there before we were made. It’s not the product of science or scholars. It’s what has always been there in the mind of God.
This reminds us of the description of Jesus as the Eternal Word; John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
The physical universe only has meaning in that everything created is there to fulfill the purpose of its Creator. Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” What is made is there to show the Creator’s power and eternal godhead (Romans 1:20).
We need to stand upon the clear claims of God’s word when it’s accurately translated and interpreted. Each part is consistent with its context and with every other inspired passage. Taken as a whole, God’s word is clear about what’s right and what should be the focus in our lives.
Paul warned Timothy of the danger of the reasoning of the fallen heart. 2 Timothy 2:14 says that we are “… not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers” Our debate must be, “thus says the LORD”, Not “thus says my own geology, astrophysics, biology, and philosophy.”
Biblical Creationism frees us to do legitimate science within the boundaries of revealed truth. There should be no fear of fossils, dating methods, quasar studies, or genetics.
The seducer calls out appealing to our physical and material desires. Godly Wisdom answers by showing a consistent and successful approach to life. Those who are truly wise follow the words of God, not the conflicting ideas of men.
(Proverbs 8:32-36) Wisdom warns of a blessing and curse.
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.”
We are told to listen to the cries of God’s Wisdom.
1. Listen to the voice of wisdom, not to the voice of the world around us. Wisdom was eternally there before anything else existed, before the appealing calls of the seducers.
2. Hear wisdom’s instruction and be wise. Don’t neglect it. Pay attention to it.
3. Keep your eyes open and watch at her gates. Wait for it’s instructions at the doorways. Be ready, anxious to find wisdom, and to shun foolishness. Make this true wisdom ours through our study of God’s word, prayer, and humble obedience.
He who finds wisdom finds life and favor from the Lord. Those who hate this true wisdom find death and only injure themselves.
The Bible can be our only reliable and rewarding guide. It directs us to the only way of salvation. Jesus Christ suffered death and injury in place of His people to open their hearts to this true wisdom. Without His redeeming work, we fallen creatures could never know the God of Creation, or appreciate the creation for all God made it to be.
(Bible quotations are from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.)