Part 2 in a 7 part series. View series intro and index.
For the longest time, I thought most of the Proverbs were pithy fortune cookie sayings. Really thought provoking, but not very practical. As I’m reading through the book now, I’m creating categories, and it’s helping me to think the way Solomon did and contextualize his advice so I can practically apply my life to it.
One category that stands alone from the rest of the book is Christ Personified. In chapter 8, Solomon writes of wisdom saying,
The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. 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…When he established the heavens, I was there…then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always (vv. 22-24, 27a, 30).
If wisdom here seems like a person, it’s because wisdom in Proverbs is a personification of Christ. Christ was “set up” as God’s wisdom before the earth was created. He was there at the beginning, as the “master workman” through whom God created the world (John 1:3; Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2).
In John 1, John writes about “the Word” being God and becoming flesh. This “Word” is the Greek word logos which means “wisdom.” Christ literally is “the Wisdom of God.” Paul confirms this in 1 Corinthians 1:23-24, “We preach Christ crucified…to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
Before we read any of the Proverbs and try to understand Solomon’s wisdom, we must believe that Christ is where our wisdom begins. In him is the fullness God’s wisdom (see Col. 1:19). Remember that Solomon started his book with, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7). This LORD is the same Lord who worked as a carpenter, taught us the Scriptures, healed people, fed thousands, died on a cross, rose from the dead, and lives and reigns as supreme King today.