Invoked or not
For reading & meditation: Proverbs 8:12-36
"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors '" (v.34)
We spend just one more day acquainting ourselves with background information on the book of Proverbs before embarking on our theme - the Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The more you read and study Proverbs, and the more you apply its words to your life, the more you will find that its wise and witty sayings "work." They work because that is the way the Lord has set things up. It was said of Jung, the famous psychologist, that written over the door of his study was: "Invoked or not, God is present." This interesting statement provides us with a clue to understanding Proverbs, for whether men and women invoke the Creator or not, His creative and sustaining wisdom goes on giving them a world where wisdom operates and where things make sense to humankind. Someone has described Proverbs as "the scrapbook of common grace." "Common grace" is the phrase theologians use to describe the grace that God gives to humanity in general so that, whether they turn to Him or not, they are enabled to live more effectively and wisely on the earth. "Wisdom," says Charles G. Martin, "writes the handbook of instruction in God's workshop and when people despise wisdom, that is, true wisdom, they blot the copy book of life." Of course, we must accept that some may pursue wisdom for the wrong reason -self-interest - or just because wisdom "works," but as Archbishop William Temple put it: "The art of politics is so to arrange matters that self-interest prompts what justice demands." Heaven aside for the moment, our lives would be a lot better if wisdom, rather than folly, prevailed.
Father I am so thankful for this concept of "common grace." Your love reaches down to help people live life in a sensible and profitable way even though they may never come to know You personally. What a wonderful God You are. Amen.
For further study:
1. Who did Jesus say was a wise man?
2. What sort of wisdom did Paul speak of?
More in Every Day Light, with Selwyn Hughes
Every Day Light 6/3