Tuesday 14 June 2022

Bible Book:

...then I was beside him, like a master worker, and I was daily his delight, playing before him always, playing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race. (vs 30-31)

Proverbs 8:22-31 Tuesday 14 June 2022

Psalm 73:1-3, 16-28


Although much of Proverbs is associated with King Solomon, these verses are clearly written by another hand. Within this beautiful passage the personification of Wisdom describes the awesome process of creation within which she has played a significant part. Tradition has associated Wisdom as a female co-worker with God, "I was beside him, like a master worker and I was daily his delight" (v. 30). This verse sounds as if it could have come from the Song of Songs where the bride speaks about her lover.

Did you notice the repeated verbs in verses 30-31? Wisdom twice uses the word ‘delight’ and twice the verb, ‘playing’. The use of ‘delight’ and ‘play’ may initially seem out of place in a passage that mirrors the grandeur of Genesis chapter 1. Like the introductory music to the BBC’s Sky at Night programme, we assume that creation has to be epic, grand and imposing – and of course it is. But Proverbs 8:30-31introduces an alternative narrative of God "playing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race" (v. 31).

Our goal-orientated educational system earnestly measures and quantifies each student’s development. No doubt this has helped to raise standards and helped many to achieve better exam grades, but perhaps this line of scripture reminds us of the continuing benefits of the freedom to play, and the delight of discovering that we too are creative beings. In the world of therapy, many adults are helped by therapeutic play and art, discovering as the psychologist Carl Jung once said, "Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain."

To Ponder:

  • How can we encourage more play in our churches?
  • What do you delight in?
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