Recently, Proverbs 2 opened up to me in a new light. I began to see Christ and His finished work in this chapter on wisdom, and how receiving wisdom will preserve and deliver us from two things: unbelief and legalism (or law system or world system). Thank Abba for teaching us to interpret the Old Testament from the New Covenant perspective. 🙂
“My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures” (Proverbs 2:1-4)
God addressed this chapter to His son (or daughter) who is a believer in Christ. He wants to see Christ as our wisdom, for Christ has become to us from God “wisdom, righteousness, holiness and redemption“. (1 Corinthians 1:30) The wisdom of Christ will help us understand righteousness, holiness and redemption – the sum total of the good news of grace of Christ.
In Christ we are made righteous, for at the cross, God made Jesus who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
In Christ we are made holy, for by one offering Jesus has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14)
In Christ we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. (Ephesians 1:7) Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us at the cross. (Galatians 3:13)
Therefore, we are complete in Christ, who is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 1:10) And we are His workmanship (masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
“Then you will understand the fear (or worship) of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.” (Proverbs 2:5-9)
Thus, Christ who is our wisdom opens our minds to see Him. We will see Jesus in all the loveliness of His person and understand the perfection of His finished work. We will know that we are forgiven of all our sins and made righteous in God’s sight. We will also want to worship God in response to His love, just as David wrote “If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared (or worshipped).” (Psalm 130:3-4)
In addition, when we believe in the new covenant truth that God remembers our sins no more, as it is written “For I will be merciful to all their unrighteousness and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more”, we will know God intimately, from the least to the greatest of us. 🙂 (Hebrews 8:10-12)
I believe that’s how we will understand the fear or worship of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. The greatest knowledge we can have is to know God, who is also Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour of all.
The next verse talks about wisdom, knowledge and understanding. These three aspects of Jesus seem to go hand in hand throughout the book of Proverbs. For example, Proverbs 24:3 says “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Who or what is the house, according to the new covenant context? It is the church or the body of Christ, right? 🙂 So we see that through wisdom (Jesus), the church or the body of Christ is built. And how is the church established? The verse says “by understanding”. What is this understanding?
Proverbs 9:10 says “The fear (or worship) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Who is the Holy One? We see from Mark 1:24 that “the Holy One of God” is none other than Jesus Christ Himself. 🙂 So the knowledge of Jesus Christ is understanding. In other words, the church is established by the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!
And the last part of Proverbs 24:3 says that by knowledge the rooms of the house are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. It could very well mean that as we the body of Christ grow in our knowledge of Jesus, each of us (making up the rooms) as parts of His body will be filled with all precious and pleasant riches in terms of our gifts and revelations of Jesus to build one another up in the Lord, “till we all come to the unity of the faith (righteousness by faith) and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that…. speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head – Christ – from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share (with all precious and pleasant riches), causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:13-17) Amen.
“The Lord stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly.” Who are the ones who walk uprightly? We are they who walk uprightly according to the truth of the gospel (good news of grace) when we believe the gospel that we are the righteousness of God in Christ. Romans 1:17 says the gospel is the revelation of the righteousness of God which we receive by faith, and not by the works of the law.
Whenever we hear Christ being preached, or read Christ-centred materials, or involve Christ in our conversations, or meditate on Christ and His finished work, we receive wisdom. We note that some of the wisest men in Solomon’s time, like Ethan the Ezrahite and Heman, were worshippers and psalmists – they must have received wisdom when they spent time worshipping the Lord and beholding His beauty and His grace.
(to be continued in Part II)