Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table. – Proverbs 9:1-2
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Wisdom is another one of those gifts for which I have asked, and few would argue that I don’t need it. Wisdom, though, is more than realizing it might not be a good idea to try and clap twice when doing push-ups on a concrete floor. I don’t think I could clap once now. Who knew a lip had so much blood in it? It looked like I’d butchered a hog in the bathroom. Experiences that don’t kill you tend to impart, if not wisdom, a certain degree of judiciousness. Let one of your friends try it first.
In the Bible wisdom is personified. Sophia, if we will let her, becomes our friend and advisor. The seven pillars which uphold her house are, traditionally, the seven heavenly virtues: chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility to nicely counter the seven deadly sins of lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.
Wisdom has “slaughtered her beasts”, perhaps meaning that wisdom puts the animal nature in its proper place and to its proper use, such that it serves rather rules and is nothing to be either feared or petted.
Those of us who have might have imbibed or been around those who imbibed in the fruit of the vine or corn squeezings to excess know that such intoxicants have the potential to change us into different people and lead us to do things we would not normally do. So Paul warns: …do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery… (Ephesians 5:18). The verse does not end there, however. He tells us that instead of drinking the old wine that leads to foolishness, we should drink to the full the new wine of the Spirit. That is the wine Sophia pours into our cup: Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave your simple ways, and live, and walk in the way of insight (vv. 5-6).
She is offering us communion: the Bread of Life -- the Word of God and the Spirit. Those with whom we commune, with whom we break bread and share a cup are our friends. There is trust and an implied covenant even in the most informal and transient of situations. How much more true is this in the eternal communion Wisdom offers us in Christ? Here is one we may fully trust, in whose house we may rest, secure and without fear.