“Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
“To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live. “ (Proverbs 8:1-4, )
It is said of some that “they don’t have the common sense that God gave them.” I have heard this said of young and old alike. More often than not, however, it is said in comparison to the person who is speaking, and not necessarily common sense (or good sense) that is from and of God. What is common sense according to the world may not be common sense according to God. After all, Christ turned upside down many precepts and perspectives. And I am reminded that Paul talked about being foolish according to the world’s perspective. So do you thinking beloved reader, that wisdom according to the bible is the same as common sense?
And just in passing, what do you think of wisdom personified as female?
“The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago.
Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.
Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth— when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil.
When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,
when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.” (Verses 22-31)
Wisdom is old, older than creation. From the way the writer of Proverbs has her speak, you can almost imagine her saying with God concerning creation (as Genesis is structured) “that it was good.” We talk about “Mother Nature”; is that an “off-shoot” of wisdom? If Jesus was with God, as “the Word”, does that mean that wisdom formed part of the aspect of Jesus? And what does that mean for the “male-ness” that seems to be superimposed on God? Or was Wisdom created as a servant of God? Created to be a sounding board for the Divine? Could this be part of the “image of God” we were created in? And again, how is this influenced by the fact that Wisdom is characterized as a woman?
I have always been fascinated by the idea that Wisdom is portrayed as feminine. When I have felt pushed aside in the “world of men” I have cling to the fact that Wisdom is seen in the bible as a woman. And have strived to hone my wisdom.
May you, beloved reader, heed wisdom as you find it in yourself and in the world. Selah!