The wisdom of God in Creation: The personification of wisdom.
Read Prov. 8:12-36
“The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way”
In the Sistine Chapel is the painting of the famous painter Michelangelo’s depicting creation as God reaches out his right hand to touch the finger of Adam. What has intrigued art students is not just the wonder of the painting, but the woman who is nestled under the left hand of God. Some have speculated that it was Eve. Others have argued that it was Mary, the mother of Jesus. But a third view, one adopted by many, is that the woman is neither Eve nor Mary, but Lady Wisdom (commonly called the female name Sophia) who is personified in Proverbs 8.
In chapter 8 of Proverbs wisdom is pictured as a Lady who is calling out into the streets for all to come and listen to her instruction. She stands in contrast to Madam Folly who also calls in the streets as a boisterous harlot calling to men to come and delight in her, but who, in the end, only brings destruction upon those who listen. While Madam Folly seduces with flattery and pleasure, Lady wisdom promises righteousness. However, the writer of Proverbs moves from their appeal, to the eternality of wisdom. From the very beginning Wisdom was present with God and was at God’s side when he created the heavens and the earth. Wisdom is seen as more than an inanimate object, but as a joint participant through whom God created the universe. Ultimately, the picture of Lady Wisdom points forward to Christ himself who is not only a prophet, a priest and a king, but also the manifestation of all wisdom. Just as Christ fulfilled the threefold offices highlighted in the Old Testament social structures, he was also the quintessential wise man.
The point then of chapter 8 is that the wisdom of God was present and integrated in all of God’s creative work. When God created everything, it was not arbitrary like a young child forming figures out of clay. His work was the accomplishment of an infinitely wise God who integrated design and purpose in all that he did to accomplish his eternal purpose. His wisdom is grounded in, and leading to righteousness and justice, for it is upon these paths wisdom walks (8:29). Wisdom (that is God’s divine purpose which is the perfect application of infinite knowledge) is woven into every detail of God’s activity including in his design, purpose and work in each of our individual lives. God has made each of us unique and brings different circumstances and events into our lives with purpose and design that is grounded in his goodness. We are not just a blob of mass from conception that forms into the likeness of humanity. From the very beginning of our existence, in the womb of our mother (see Psalm 139:13; Jeremiah 1:5), God, with his infinite wisdom, designed our personality and being and then orchestrating the events of our life in order to shape and direct us to a purpose that he desires for us as individuals.
As the events of the day unfold, it affects all of us differently. For some it is an inconvenience, for others it is life changing. But this is exactly how God designed it. It affects us differently because God has a different purpose for each one of us. Only an infinitely wise and powerful God could take one event shared by all and use to in a million different ways to affect each of us differently. No matter what tomorrow may bring, if you are trusting in Christ, you can know that he will use whatever happens for a perfect purpose in your life. Instead of focusing upon “what” is happening, trust in God to orchestrate the “why” it is happening and the outcome it will achieve.