Historians love to categorize periods of man’s history. They study a timeframe until they believe they’ve discerned its prevailing attitude, and then stamp that attitude almost as a directive over all life caught between its pages. The Golden Age. The Dark Ages. The Age of Reason. The Enlightenment. The Industrial Revolution. You get the point.
Solomon took after his father. A poet at heart, his writing oozes personification, gifting life to concepts … taking intangibles and fleshing them out, unmasking their identity … their true purpose. Suddenly, walking and breathing before our eyes, the agenda lies bare and understanding dawns in this mind that can be most dull-witted at times.
In my reading this morning, I stumbled across Proverbs 1:32; it proved a case in point.
For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.
It all appeared fairly straight forward, until I did some digging.
Just what did Wisdom have in mind when he picked up his pen and wrote … the simple?
My mind thought, “Oh, this one’s easy!” and I quickly ticked off everything I knew simple to mean. Beginning with ‘not complex’. You might try making your own list, which probably includes: clear; easy; plain … Now, wasn’t that simple?
I wasn’t even close to Solomon’s intended meaning. His pen paints an incredibly different picture, sucking me into a time warp becoming hauntingly familiar.
Seducible! When Wisdom writes simple, he has in mind that clay from which we all sprang. A tree our soul’s can’t seem to escape.
This wording is definitely more palatable than the word-for-word translation. That wording serves up a morsel a wee bit bitter for our modern sensitivities … though it’s a truer portrait of Wisdom’s concern:
… the apostasy of the seducible shall smite them with deadly intent …
In the beginning Edenic clay might have been drawn to the tree by her own secret desires … her hunger for more, for the security of abundance she saw hanging from those branches. But she did not gaze in solitude. The voice of Apostasy stood within earshot, beckoning her to join his agenda. Already, a third of the angels had turned back from God.
And now? Now Apostasy had his eye on clay. Clay containing the Divine Breath. With deadly intent Apostasy wooed. Seductive words. Self-sufficiency. Prosperity. Abundance. Pursuit of desire.
Clay listened. And discovered, death.
Some things remain the same, despite the passage of time, the change of venue.
Sitting here, contently in the comfort of my modern life of ease, wrapped snuggly in the security of its message, I hear Wisdom speak this morning. The words contain the same warning first flowing from his pen millennia ago.
He hears the Seducer, speaking loud and clear. That voice behind the message of our day, propelling our driven-ness, our compulsions, our grasping natures … our complacency. Apostacy, turned back from God, so permeates our lives, we don’t even recognize him speaking any more.
Eden’s tree? It still stands … in dazzling splendor before us. Mesmerized, committed to apostasy’s seductive agenda, we grasp the abundance of its fruit-laden branches without thought. No longer recognizing the bitter juices wrecking havoc on our sense, we stumble drunkenly in the foolishness of our false securities.
And Wisdom weeps, as his ink, flowing across the days of our lives, marks them definitively … Age of Seduction.
Truly, you have heard from Wisdom. If we as a people would turn back to God and repent and seek Him as a whole, He would heal our land. The shaking is taking place and if we aren't grounded and rooted in Him, we will fall. I am thankful for His grace.