sermon for 5/30/10 “wisdom” Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

The text of the sermon delivered by Rev. Kirk Moore at Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Somonauk, IL on Sunday, May 30, 2010

“Wisdom”  podcast

This morning’s Bible reading is from Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

Most say that wisdom comes with age. How old does one have to be before they are considered wise?

How much experience qualifies one to be thought of as wise?

What is wisdom?

How old is wisdom anyway?

Let me start this morning with an observation of my last question. She (wisdom) is as old as all creation and a little bit older. She has been around for the ages, before there were any heavens or earth, before there were springs of water, before there were mountains or fields or sea or anything at all.

Wisdom has been around since before the beginning.

We can learn much from her.

What am I doing with all this she and her stuff? I’m describing wisdom.  It’s right in this morning’s Bible reading.

Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?

That’s just in the New Revised Standard Version, right?

Nope:

(Proverbs 8:1 NIV) Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?
(Proverbs 8:1 NLT) Listen as wisdom calls out! Hear as understanding raises her voice!
(Proverbs 8:1 NCV) Wisdom calls to you like someone shouting; understanding raises her voice.
(Proverbs 8:1 KJV) Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?
I love it in The Message paraphrase:   Do you hear Lady Wisdom calling? Can you hear Madame Insight raising her voice? (Check out the whole chapter!)

Wisdom and understanding are feminine words and they are described – in most English translations – in feminine terms.

Wisdom – she has been around since before the beginning.

What is Wisdom?

It was easier to describe how old she is.

What wisdom is, is mostly unquantifiable. Our reading skips several verses that describe wisdom. Even with them I’m not sure we can fully understand everything she is. But here are some things wisdom does:

  • She speaks the truth and hates deception
  • Her advice is wholesome and good
  • She gives instruction
  • She lives with good judgment
  • She attains knowledge and discretion
  • She has good advice
  • She has insight
  • She has strength
  • She loves those who seek her
  • She walks the way of righteousness and along the paths of justice

What is wisdom? Wisdom in embodied in truth, wholesome advice, instruction, good judgment, knowledge, discretion, insight, strength, love, righteousness, and justice.

Wisdom:  She’s really good.

How much experience qualifies one to be thought of as wise?

I don’t know. How much experience is necessary before someone is filled with and oozes truth, wholesome advice, instruction, good judgment, knowledge, discretion, insight, strength, love, righteousness, and justice?

Wisdom does come with age. For many it comes as a result of making enough mistakes to know better. For some it comes after doing it right so many times that it is completely natural. Those who have lived – those who have experienced more life – are wiser.

But there is another piece or idea or facet of wisdom that we’ve got to address.

Wisdom – who has been around since before the beginning and who embodies truth, wholesome advice, instruction, good judgment, knowledge, discretion, insight, strength, love, righteousness, and justice – comes from and is woven together with – God. The wisdom described in today’s reading is God’s wisdom. We can’t lay claim to her. We can’t possess her as if she were a prize. But we can seek her.

Wisdom calls, and understanding raise her voice . . .

Let’s listen to wisdom’s voice when she calls.  Let’s seek wisdom.

Close with prayer.

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One Response to “sermon for 5/30/10 “wisdom” Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31”

  1. Carol Metzger Says:

    I lead a group that meets once a week to discuss the devotional book “Disciplines”. It is available through Upper Room. I have read it for years and find it the best devotional I have used. It follows the Lectionary so we have a heads up on sermons. We spent quite a bit of time discussing Wisdom. My friend told us that wisdom in Greek is Sophia. So, you see that having talked about Wisdom, I really enjoyed your thoughts on it.

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