Tonight, as you can guess from the title of the post, we’re going to be looking at Proverbs 8. This is a passage that is absolutely essential to Christology for us today. Nothing I say will be in-depth on the topic however. For those who like what they’ve seen here and want to know more, I recommend going to J.P. Holding’s site and reading his article on Jesus as God’s Wisdom:
Throughout this passage, Wisdom has been speaking and now, we get to Wisdom describing herself. (For those concerned about the Christ-image being female, keep in mind Wisdom is seen as the helper role in this one, just as Eve was to Adam and thus, would naturally be personified as female. Keep also in mind that God describes himself in feminine terms at certain points in Isaiah.)
Let’s go through the text.
22 “The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works,
before his deeds of old;
Some might say that Wisdom being brought forth points to a beginning. Not at all. Wisdom was always there as an attribute of the Father and was brought forth from the Father. There was never a time when Wisdom was not. After all, God was never unwise. Wisdom was there before the deeds of old, which would be referring to creation as we shall see.
23 I was appointed from eternity,
from the beginning, before the world began.
Before the world began, Wisdom was there and was appointed. Appointed for what?
24 When there were no oceans, I was given birth,
when there were no springs abounding with water;
25 before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth,
26 before he made the earth or its fields
or any of the dust of the world.
The work is referring to creation and how Wisdom was given birth before then. Again, we are tempted to think of this in temporal terms. It’s not. Wisdom was eternally in the bosom of the Father and came forward. Does that sound like any other passage?
27 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
28 when he established the clouds above
and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
29 when he gave the sea its boundary
so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
Again, Wisdom describes how she was there in every moment of creation.
30 Then I was the craftsman at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
and delighting in mankind.
And now, we realize that not only was Wisdom there, but Wisdom was the agent used in creation. Wisdom was rejoicing in the act of creation. Let’s keep this in mind for it will become more relevant later on. Wisdom is the agent of creation and is rejoicing in the creation.
Wisdom’s role will become more apparent later. Tomorrow night, I’d like to jump back and get to something in the Psalms.