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Monday, December 19, 2016

Proverbs 8 Extended Ode to the Life of Wisdom

The 8th chapter of Proverbs presents the life of Wisdom in a positive sense, and in two manners. The "life of Wisdom" is taken to mean the life one leads when one seeks and cherishes wisdom. Also, "Wisdom" is again personified and the life of Wisdom is presented as the historical contributions of wise thought to the world, beginning with God's creation of the Universe.

The opening of the chapter states the Wisdom is calling, raising her voice, "on the heights besides the way" and " in the paths" man might take (8:2-3). This is important because Solomon personifies Wisdom as someone who is available, a willing companion to all and not a closed-off frequenter only of the elites.

Almost the entire chapter is a speech delivered by Wisdom to man, telling men, first all the wonders that come with Wisdom -- pure truth, instruction worth more than gold and silver and jewels, and knowledge and discretion (8:4-12).

Then there is a description of the personality of Wisdom -- She fears the Lord and can teach men how to be like her. She turns people from pride and arrogance, and she herself hates "perverted speech." (8:13).

The historical "life of Wisdom" begins in the 15th verse, when Wisdom mentions that she determines which kings reign, which rulers offer just decrees, which princes rule, and who flourishes with riches, honor, wealth and prosperity (15-19).

Starting at the 22nd verse the biography of Wisdom goes back even further, to creation, and here is where things become intriguing. Up until now, Wisdom has been associated with all the things one expects to link to wisdom -- career success, a peaceful flourishing, good relationships, morality, etc. -- but now Wisdom is positioned as an instrument of creation and creativity.

For ten verses, Wisdom states that she was there when God created the whole world, including the mountains, skies, fountains of the deep, and foundations of the earth. The act of creating is imbued with Wisdom itself -- beauty, too, and the miracle of creation come with Wisdom.

What does this mean to a man who seeks to leave homosexuality? A great deal, actually. For this passage in Proverbs 8 reminds us that acts of creation, including the sex of procreation, come from Wisdom. Wise choices allow us to direct sexual energy toward those behaviors that bring life and new creativity--male-female union, and the siring of new souls.

The unspoken admonition in this passage is that without Wisdom, no acts can be creative. Hence, homosexuality, which does not create, is both uncreative and anti-creative, or destructive. It is urge without Wisdom.