Monday

fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ (v. 7)

Proverbs 1:1-7 Monday 5 September 2016

Psalm: Psalm 148


Background

Today's highlighted verse cries out to be flagged up, it isclearly the key statement of the opening passage, first chapter andthe whole book of Proverbs It also invites the response, "Not so!"So perhaps we need to decide if this is how we want to read it, orjust acknowledge that it comes from a particular place as sacredwriting. It's important to emphasise that wisdom and instruction isfor, and can be grasped by, anyone. Those who are turned towardsGod are not superior in knowledge and wisdom to others, even inreligious matters. As we approach the text we are not always fullof knowledge and wisdom, people can even use (misuse) the text tostifle these.

Yet, surely, it is an invitation to grapple with Scripture andput the text to the test. It is notable how attachment to the textand to what could be called divine philosophy was one of thedrivers behind great developments in art, science, literature,medicine and other things. In days gone by wise souls activelylooked for the divine wisdom in the created order, in Judaism,Christianity and Islam. More recent ideas of Creationism and Intelligent Design are pale reflections ofthese.

Jesus presumably took the book of Proverbs to heart in order toconvey his wisdom and message of ultimate life-changingsignificance. A wisdom described in simple terms - baking, familyrelationships, coins, flowers, agriculture - he had nothingcomplicated to say (except, maybe, in John's Gospel, a piece of'wisdom' literature). This tells us that wisdom is not difficult inintellectual terms, only as a personal challenge. Are we ready tobe wise? No doubt this week's readings will tell us.


To Ponder

  • How far would you agree that "the fear of the Lord is thebeginning of knowledge"?
  • What occasions are there when it is appropriate to describepeople as "fools"? How is this compatible with gospelthinking?


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