Christ, our wisdom

In Proverbs 8 God’s wisdom is personified as a woman appealing to us to follow her. What is the link between the “woman wisdom” in Proverbs and Jesus?
 
The New Testament describes Jesus as the embodiment of God’s wisdom. Luke tells us that Jesus was wise from his youth (Luke 2:41-52) and that he had greater wisdom that Solomon himself, the compiler of Proverbs (Luke 11:31, Proverbs 1:1). The apostle Paul also writes that all of the wisdom of God is in Christ Jesus (Colossians 2:3). Indeed the language used of Jesus as being the one through whom all things were created in Colossians 1:15-17 resonates strongly with Proverbs chapter 8.
 
Nonetheless, some care is needed here. Proverbs 8:22-25 describes Wisdom as being created by God, which is not true of Christ. Christ is eternal. The heretic Arius used this to challenge Jesus’ divinity. Indeed, we should not take the language of God creating wisdom too literally as that would imply that God was foolish at one time, before creating His wisdom(!) The language is rather of him giving birth to wisdom as one might bear a child. Wisdom naturally comes forth from him.
 
Wisdom is therefore one of God’s essential characteristics. In Proverbs, God’s character of wisdom is portrayed with the literary device of personification. In Jesus Christ, however, we know the embodiment of God’s wisdom, as indeed we see the whole fullness of God in Christ.
 
NOT

God’s Wisdom = Woman Wisdom = Jesus
 
BUT . . . .
 
Proverbs
 
It is therefore right to see the call of Wisdom in Proverbs as a call to follow Christ, but not to equate Woman Wisdom in Proverbs with being the pre-incarnate Christ.
 
“Wisdom is better than Jewels and all that you may desire cannot compare with her” (Proverbs 8:11). Let’s seek the treasures of God’s wisdom as we find it embodied ultimately in the Lord Jesus “in whom are hidden all treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). 

Richard Dryer, 07/03/2015

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