So I am finding things other than v. 22 and v. 30 interesting. Those are the particular verses of long discussion. v. 22 is Wisdom a person of some kind or a metaphor? v. 30 is wisdom a master workman, or a playful child, or is God the master workman and Wisdom is watching? Well, despite what I have been reading I am not sure I can resolve them before Sunday. Big surprise there. Some say a Preacher has to have convictions or s/he will blow an uncertain trumpet. I say, it is folly to be decided before the evidence is examined fully – and the usual pastor’s study in the week before a message is most likely not going to resolve issues that have been discussed for centures. (I lean Metahpor/master workman).
However what about the idea in v. 14-16 that rulers rule by Wisdom. That does not say, as M. Fox has noted, that only the kings of Israel rule by Wisdom. But that all kings (can) rule by Wisdom. That it is not exclusive to those who have the divine revelation of the scriptures. Luther is rumored to have said “I’d rather be governed by a wise Turk than a foolish Christian.” (Some things attributed to Luther and to Yogi Berra were not acutally said by them.) What implication for public policy is this? Should believers seek to vote for c0-religionists, or perhaps more broadly for those who are ‘wise.” Can we find common ground with people of other or no faith?
In v. 8-9 it says all of Wisdom’s words are right and none are cro0oked. then it says. “they are straight to him who understands…” Have you noticed that various biblical ideas (sexual fidelity, humility, living simply, servant leadership) are hard to receive for some people because they are so different from their own views. There are those today who suggest a biblical sexual ethic is not only outdated, but unhealthy and dangerous. (Read the literature on what should be in public school’s sex education courses.) These verses suggest that it takes some previous commitment or knowledge of wisdom to accept that wisdom is in fact straight and not twisted.
In whatever the particular decision one makes on v. 22 and 30, it is clear that chapter 8 is saying that the world we inhabit is based on rationality – and a particular kind of rationality called Wisdom. This runs against a purely accidental/materialistic view of life as some capital E evolutionists suggest. Yet, it does suggest a potentially universal set of precepts that can guide all people. The Bible upholds that idea. The Enlightenment to Modernist eras also hoped for universals. Pre and Post moderns seem unconcerned with such things.
Yet, why do all hold that love and justice are good and that exploitation and greed are wrong. The definitions differ and the admission may by hypocritical, but the concepts are almost universal.
Well, we are on Thursday afternoon, there is a wedding, a seniors group, and the stuff of life and a sermon to attend to.