For some reason, after spending the past two days in the opening nine verses of Proverbs 1, what Solomon said next to his son really struck me.
The first nine verses serve as a beautiful preamble to all that would follow. Many of us memorize them as children as Wisdom lays forth poetically the reason behind everything that would soon flow from Solomonís pen.
Godís word, Wisdom reminds me, like jewels designed to adorn oneís inner character and bring forth from within a beauty unsurpassable, is to become such a part of me I wouldnít think of breathing without them.
I reflected on that again this morning, as I lay abed in the dark, thinking on my wardrobe, wondering which garment from a burgeoning closet would best suit today. Did I feel like going to the office in a casual mode? Or would a more sophisticated garb present me in better form, even if I were the only one to see?
Into my contemplation, Wisdom quickly revealed appearanceís firm grasp on this clay. And I wasnít even aware of its presence.
Iíve never been into fashion. I couldnít tell you the latest design Ö or the current does and doníts. But packaging myself each day, well, itís unavoidable.
Realizing that, suddenly I knew a shame I hadnít experienced in quite the same way before. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God Ö Heís not looking for how I present myself on the outside. Heís looking at how, as His daughter, Iím building the family. Wisdom holds out to me treasure chests of precious gems Ö jewels never clashing, always brilliant and sparkling adornments bearing in every facet of their cut a piece of Wisdom Himself. Wearing them, I can never be dressed incorrectly.
Proverbs spreads before me a room full to overflowing with treasure. I never want to forget that. Whenever I look at my wardrobe trying to decide just what to wear, when I stand in front of my mirror each morning carefully apply that bottled grace, may I consciously see the true ornaments and through His enabling, adorn myself where it counts Ö and then behold His look of pleasure.
All this lay on my heart as I opened Proverbs 1 again. With Wisdomís introduction beginning to sink in at last, I felt ready to behold the very first ornament revealed through Solomonís pen. I admit it. I was surprised!
After all, the king speaking was the wealthiest ever to walk the earth. The world, in ways, lay at his feet. Money was certainly no problem, held not lure. Not for him. Not for his children. So, just what would the king want his son to know first Ö about life Ö about living it well.
ďMy son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.
If they say, ĎCome along with us; letís lie in wait for someoneís blood,
letís waylay some harmless soul ÖĒ
Wisdomís deepest and foremost concern was about sin, about sinís enticing nature, and the vulnerability of clayís soul to its persuasive voice.
Sin, Wisdom reveals, preys on the helpless, the innocent. And sinís ultimate agenda, even if hidden from our discernment, remains the same Ö the shedding of blood.
Wisdom reveals some interesting facts about sinís method. Sin isnít interested in bits and pieces. Sin is after the whole man, and its intent is swallowing man alive. Talk about the antithesis of Wisdom, Who is all about life.
What does the Incarnate Wisdom reveal to us about Himself?
ďI have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly!Ē
Talk about different natures Ö different agendas.
Solomon, granted wisdom from Divine Wisdom Himself, wanted his son to be aware, more than anything else, that sin wanted something. Sin wanted his son. Of utmost importance to the king was his sonís recognition of this fact, a fact he knew, and wanted his son to know, as the seedbed for every other truth Wisdom reveals.
How does this passage (Proverbs 1:10-19) not take one back to the beginning Ö to Godís first revelations about man, about the Eden Wisdom planted him in, and that dark voice which even there drew alongside man with an agenda of death.
While God breathed life into clayís nostrils, another, the harbinger of death, simply bided his time. He could wait. Wait until clay carelessly cast off beautyís ornaments, seeking to replace them with others tickling his senses.
As you read Solomonís words, does Eden take the stage? Do you see the tree? Feel the wanting? The yearning after sightís treasures? Does the reaching hand suddenly bear a haunting resemblance to your own? Do you taste that first bite, once desire is grasped? Does its expected sweetness suddenly turn to bitterness, in your own mouth, before ever being swallowed?
How about the blood? Does the stain lie at your feet, spreading grain by grain, first with gripping beauty at mercyís covering? Then, with chilling horror as a first son spills blood on sod Ö a cup never meant for soilís tasting? Do you hear the innocent blood, swallowed whole, cry out from the grave?
The kingís heart, flowing from Wisdomís heart, was jealous for his son. Jealous for his safety. Jealous for Wisdomís instruction and teaching to ever grace his sonís head and adorn his neck as a protective covering, keeping him safe from Sinís reach.
Iíd never realized what Solomonís words were all about, not really. Each treasure to follow, one more piece of protective wear. As I read through the Proverbs this time, I hope to keep that framework untarnished, that Wisdom might accomplish His protective work in my heart.