May 26 2013 Sermon Trinity
Prov. 8:1-4, 22-31
Proverbs 8:1 Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2 On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; 3 beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: 4 “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man….
“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. 23 Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth, 26 before he had made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. 27 When he established the heavens, I was there; when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, 28 when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, 29 when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, 30 then I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, 31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.
Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? Listen to her! Oh, that we were wise! Oh, that we could understand! But we have all become foolish. Our world is foolish. “They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness…” says the Lord. (Ps 82:5). “No one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless…” says God. (Rom 3:11-12). They call right, wrong; and they call wrong, right. They seem to be intent on their own self-destruction. The world is upside down. “Vanity of vanities, says the preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.” (Prov 1:2). They have not heeded the voice of wisdom.
Yet she calls aloud, “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man.” (8:1). “On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud.” For the Lord possessed her at the beginning of his work. Before the beginning of the earth; before the first of his acts of old wisdom was brought forth. Before he had made the heavens there was wisdom. Before the mountains and hills were shaped, there was wisdom.
Wisdom was beside God, like a master workman. She was God’s daily delight, rejoicing before him always. The world was created by wisdom; the master workman. The architect and craftsman of the cosmos was wisdom. There is wisdom in the creation; wisdom in the universe; in the stars of the night, in the sun and moon, there is wisdom. There is wisdom in the created beings of the earth; there is wisdom in mankind. The orders of creation are wisdom. The plants, the sea creatures, the birds of the air and the animals that rove on land, they are wisdom. Man was created by wisdom; male and female they were created. That’s wisdom. Husband and wife were created for each other; that’s wisdom. Be fruitful and multiply they are told; that’s wisdom. Family was created and ordained by wisdom. Procreation was established by wisdom. All this is not merely the order of creation; it is not merely natural law; it is not just an invention by society to create order among men; but it is wisdom. Mankind was created in the image of God; that’s wisdom. Mankind was created to be in intimate communion with God, that’s wisdom. Birth is wisdom; life is wisdom. There is beauty in every aspect of creation because it is wisdom.
The Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—created all things by wisdom. In the first chapter of Genesis we read:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light…”
God the Father created the heavens and the earth. God the Holy Spirit hovered over the face of the waters, that’s the Spirit. And the Word of God came forth from him and said, “Let there be light and there was light.” That is the Son, Our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. He is the Word of God made flesh. He is Wisdom, the master builder who was his daily delight. The Master builder rejoicing before him always. He is the Wisdom of God rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man. (Prov 8:30-31).
You are the children of man. Your Lord and God delights in you. He rejoices in his inhabited world. He rejoices in what his Wisdom created: man. Male and female he created them. That is wisdom.
And they were created in God’s image; in intimate communion with God. They are God’s most prized possession; the jewel in his crown. His glory. What is man that God is mindful of him, and the son of man that he cares for him? He made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor and gave him dominion over the works of his hands. (Ps 8). That is wisdom.
But the world tells us man is just an accident of nature; nothing more or less than the animal kingdom, or eco system. The idea that man has no purpose, no reason for being, and no future beyond this life, that is not wisdom, rather foolishness. The idea that marriage is just a human institution, and perhaps even outdated, that is not wisdom, rather foolishness. The idea that sexual relations are merely for pleasure and that family is optional, that is not wisdom, but foolishness. The idea that an unborn baby is just tissue and the mother can dispose of it because it’s her body, that is not wisdom, it’s foolishness. The idea that we can decide when to live and when to die, who should be born and who should not be born, that is not wisdom, that is making ourselves God. The idea that anyone can marry anyone regardless of sex, that is not wisdom, it’s foolishness. Wisdom is man and woman created in the image of God, joined together in marriage for the purpose of procreating and having a family, and that the institutions of marriage, procreation and family express the love, unity, and character of God himself, that is wisdom. It is all created by the master workman: wisdom herself.
Wisdom is calling to our world and society and to each one of us. Why listen to her? Because she delights in you, the children of man. And because she delights in you, she became incarnate, that means, she became human flesh and blood. She was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. Wisdom is your brother. She is one of us. She came to call out to this foolish world and to the fools who inhabit it in order to save us from our foolishness. She stands at the entrance and cries aloud, “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man.”
She calls out “wisdom is the fear of the Lord.” Wisdom is the foolishness of the cross of Jesus. For by his cross he defeated sin and the devil. By his cross he defeated our foolishness and teaches us wisdom. Because wisdom delights in the children of man, Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. Because wisdom delights in you he died to pay for your sins, your foolishness, your lack of wisdom. He died to save you from the wrath and punishment of God. The cross, which is foolishness to the gentile, is the wisdom of God and the power of God. ( I Cor 1:25). The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. Therefore, we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to gentiles. ( I Cor 1:23-25). God, in his wisdom, chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise. God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. ( I Cor 1:27).
In the end, when we think we are wise and have great insight and understanding, we turn out to be the real fools. When God speaks and gives us directions that we don’t like, when he sends afflictions and trials into our lives, we think he is foolish. We don’t let him direct the affairs of our lives, families, of even churches because we think what he says is foolish. But we are the real fools. He chose what we think is foolish to put our wisdom to shame. He chose what we think is weak to put our strength to shame.
His incarnation, birth and life are wisdom. His suffering and cross are wisdom. His resurrection and ascension are wisdom. It is by his wisdom that we are saved from the foolishness of sin and death.
So what happens if we listen to Wisdom call? The fear of the Lord is wisdom. Repentance of sin and faith in Christ are wisdom. The knowledge of God is wisdom. In baptism Wisdom calls us and the Spirit of God pours out wisdom onto us. Wisdom is a gift from God, wisdom is Jesus Christ crucified for you. When this wisdom is poured into your heart, you are saved from your sins and given eternal life. By the wisdom of God you shall be raised from the dead and joined to God for all eternity. By wisdom your understanding is greater than all your teachers (ps 119). By wisdom you now have a purpose and meaning for life. You have been made wise unto salvation; unto God. By wisdom you call upon the Lord in time of need and wait upon the Lord for deliverance. Wisdom calls. Hear her voice and take heed. Amen.