Woman Wisdom’s Party (Proverbs 9:1-6)

  My wife is the best party-thrower I know. The house looks great, the food tastes great, and everyone has a great time. Excellence characterizes every aspect of a party by Tiffany.   I thought of Tiffany’s parties when I read Proverbs 9:1-6, which describes a party thrown by Woman Wisdom.   Verse 1 describes its location:   Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars.   They key word in this verse is seven. Although modern people do not attach symbolic importance to numbers (except perhaps the number 13), ancient people did. The number 7 … Continue reading Woman Wisdom’s Party (Proverbs 9:1-6)

God’s Wisdom in Person (Proverbs 8:22-31)

  Proverbs 8:1-9:16 personifies God’s wisdom as a woman. Some feminist theologians think that more than personification is at work in these verses. They believe that Woman Wisdom is in fact a feminine deity who exists alongside God, and they name her Hokmah (the Hebrew word for Wisdom) or Sophia (the Greek word for the same).   I have several problems with the feminist interpretation of this text. For one thing, biblical religion is monotheistic (Deut. 6:4). One of the key differences between Israel and the surrounding nations is that the latter had many gods, both male and female, while … Continue reading God’s Wisdom in Person (Proverbs 8:22-31)

The Grain of the Universe (Proverbs 8:22-31)

  Why is the good life a life of wisdom? Because wisdom is the grain of the universe. As long as you work with the grain, all is well. When you work against the grain, however, you get splinters.   In Proverbs 8:22-31, Woman Wisdom describes the role she played in creation. Some feminist theologians think Proverbs is here speaking of a feminine deity who exists along side God, a Mother Earth to his Father Sky. I think that reads way too much into the text. Woman Wisdom is simply a personification of God’s wisdom.   She is personified as … Continue reading The Grain of the Universe (Proverbs 8:22-31)

Woman Wisdom’s Company (Proverbs 8:12-21)

  You can tell a lot about people, whether good or bad, by the company they keep. Whom we associate with both reflects and reinforces our character. When we hang out with the wrong crowd, we reveal our character flaws, and our friends supersize our vices. On the other hand, when we hang out with the right crowd, we demonstrate good choices, and our friends magnify our virtues.   In Proverbs 8:12-21, Woman Wisdom talks about her friends and enemies, that is, the company she keeps and the crowds she avoids. Then she talks about how she influences others in … Continue reading Woman Wisdom’s Company (Proverbs 8:12-21)

Don’t Forget the Great Commission!

Over at the Christian Vision Project, Ajith Fernando pens a great reminder that evangelicals must not become so focused on doing good works that they forget to proclaim the good news of salvation. Here’s a sample: I hear evangelicals talking a lot about justice and kingdom values but not proclaiming the gospel to those of other faiths and winning them for Christ. Of course, if someone asks them about Christianity, they will explain the gospel. Thus, some people will be converted to Christ through their witness. But that is a woefully inadequate strategy. Most of the billions of people in … Continue reading Don’t Forget the Great Commission!

Wisdom’s Incomparable Worth (Proverbs 8:4-11)

  A few weeks back, a good portion of Southern California—from Santa Barbara to San Diego—was burning. My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew lived within a couple of miles of one of the fires. As it burned closer to their home, they prepared an evacuation kit, just in case they received a reverse 911 call telling them to flee.   If you had been in their situation, what would you have packed in your evacuation kit? Obviously, the wife, the kids, and the dog would be first on the list. But then what? How you answer that question depends on what … Continue reading Wisdom’s Incomparable Worth (Proverbs 8:4-11)

A Tale of Three Women (Proverbs 8:1-3)

  The Book of Proverbs tells a tale of three women. The first is about the Adulteress, the woman we should avoid (Prov. 5:1-23, 6:20-35, and 7:1-27). The second is about the Noble Wife, whom we should marry (30:10-31). The third is about Woman Wisdom, to whom we should listen (8:1-9:18). It is precisely by listening to Woman Wisdom that we avoid the Adulteress and marry the Noble Wife.   We first meet Woman Wisdom in Proverbs 8:1-3:   Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, … Continue reading A Tale of Three Women (Proverbs 8:1-3)

The Witless and the Ruthless (Proverbs 7:6-23)

  The Book of Proverbs contains three extended discourses on the perils of adultery (5:1-23, 6:20-35, and 7:1-27). What makes Proverbs 7:1-27 unique is that its warning is based primarily on observation, rather than commandment or common sense.   In verses 6-9, the father sets the stage:   At the window of my house I looked out through the lattice. I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment. He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house at twilight, as the day was fading, … Continue reading The Witless and the Ruthless (Proverbs 7:6-23)