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None other than our Lord Jesus Christ

Here's how Robert Murray McCheyne opened his sermon on Wisdom entitled "TURN YOU AT MY REPROOF."  Prov. i., 20-23.

20Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, 22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

THAT none other than our Lord Jesus Christ is intended to be minted to us under the majestic figure of Wisdom in the Book of Proverbs, is evident from the passage before us. Of whom but the Saviour could it be said so truly that he stood with outstretched hands in the streets, in the markets, and in the openings of the gates, crying after the simple ones the publicans and sinners; and the scorners the Scribes and Pharisees ; and those haters of knowledge the Jewish priesthood ? And again, of whom but the Saviour could it be said, with any truth at all, that he offered to " pour out his Spirit upon the returning sinner, and to make known his words unto him ?" Christ alone " hath ascended up on high, leading captivity captive ; and hath received gifts for men, yea, even for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them."

Full sermon here (num. XXVII).

Apart from verse 23, the view that Wisdom is the Spirit in Proverbs is a strong one.  The book is about a Father training up His Young Prince to get Wisdom.  Christthen becomes for us Wisdom from God since He is the Anointed One in Whom we find Wisdom for ourselves.

For those who see Wisdom as the Spirit - any thoughts on Prov 1:23?

Whether we say Wisdom is the Son or the Spirit it is vital that we not dePersonalize Wisdom - as though it were just an attribute of God.  Our faith is Personal and we dare not depersonalize One who is clearly held out in Scripture as Maker, Saviour and the One we're urged to get above all things.

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0 thoughts on “None other than our Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Richard Walker

    I'm going to throw a bomb into this discussion and ask why the woman in view here could not be the betrothed bride of Christ - the church from all ages a la Proverbs 31, Psalm 45 and Song of Songs 3:2?

  2. Glen

    Well the Prov 31 wife of noble character is surely Wisdom or at least meant to make us think of Wisdom. She is more precious than rubies, just like Wisdom (8:11). And if you just read Proverbs in a sitting it becomes clear how Wisdom is the good wife and folly is the adulteress. The fact she does everything while her husband simply praises her and has full confidence in her is revealing.

    But if Wisdom (and therefore the wife of noble character) is the *church*... The Craftsman of creation? Older than the universe? The One that pours out her Spirit on the simple?

    Not seeing it myself :)

  3. Richard Walker

    Good point! I am an idiot and was clearly too lazy (and it was late) to think that comment through properly before posting!

    Apologies for hijacking your discussion! :-)

    To get back to topic, I wonder if we need to draw such a tight either/or distinction. You can't have one without the other. Both the presences of Elyon, the Son and the Spirit are the agents of creation and new creation aka salvation. Both of them are perfect wisdom. Both make their appeal with the help of the other.

    Even Jesus holds out his hands the world by the Spirit through the church.

    I'm the last person to want that to sound like I'm mushing them allow down into some indistinguishable pulp, but something about the Trinity's symmetry and mutual indwelling of each other, leads me to think that we shouldn't be over tight on our job descriptions - at least for certain jobs.

  4. Jacky

    Let's assume I take the view that the Wisdom = Spirit

    Prov 1:23 - the way "spirit" is used here could mean Genesis 6:3, Isaiah 42:1, 44:3, 59:21, Ezekiel 36:27, 37:14, Joel 2:28-29, Haggai 2:5, Zechariah 4:6, 6:8... then indeed it seems more than likely that either the Father or the Son is speaking of His Spirit (shared between the other two Persons).

    Or..

    The variety of occurrences in Proverbs which uses "spirit" in a diff. way (perhaps similar to Psalm 31:5...?): Prov 11:13, 15:4, 15:13, 16:2, 16:18-19; 16:32, 17:22-27, 18:14, 20:27, 29:11, 29:23. Not many of these usages of "spirit" are similar to the usages relayed in the references to "my Spirit" above... so is it possible that, like the rest of Proverbs, the usage of Proverb 1:23 is not the Father/Son referring to "my Spirit" but the Spirit speaking of Her "spirit"? Just as the Father and the Son have the Spirit, so also men have "spirit", but renewed by the Holy Spirit's spirit..

    OK not that there is a lot of Scripture on the Spirit's spirit or anything like that, but indeed Prov 1:23 would be one of the few things which would bar a Spirit-centric reading of Proverbs...

    Does Psalm 31:5 shed any light on this? When Jesus says that he commits his spirit to the Father - is He speaking of his "life", His Spirit, a combination or altogether something else? hum...

    Proverbs 29:11: A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
    but a wise man quietly holds it back.

    Proverbs 29:23: One's pride will bring him low,
    but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

  5. Glen

    Hey Richard, yeah the mutual indwelling of the Persons is key. So therefore we don't need 'tight job descriptions'. But a) the fact that Wisdom is a Divine Person (and not simply a divine attribute) is worth fighting for, no matter which Person you're championing and b) when the Persons are interacting (as in 1:23) it's worth figuring out Who's co-operating with Whom.

    Jacky - typically thought provoking. Thanks. So just as Christ has His spirit and each created person has a spirit so perhaps we say the Spirit has His own spirit. And actually the NIV goes with this kind of thing by saying that Wisdom pours out her "heart". Is that the basic argument?

  6. Jacky

    Ah.. didn't notice that NIV translation. That seems to fit the latter interpretation more.

    It would also lend support to the view of Wisdom as a Divine Person who could be grieved (Isaiah 63:10; Ephesians 4:30), the Spirit's "heart" poured out (but denied by us when we walk contrary to Wisdom's calling).

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