What is the very essence of life? What is the purpose and meaning of our existence? Why do we find ourselves in these bodies, in these circumstances, and in this place we find ourselves in... and why this family? And, why humanity? Why God?
I'm unsure if there’s a salient response to these questions and we could muse about it and completely miss life, yet it does beckon some amazement as to ‘the why’ and ‘the how’ of life.
One thing I’ve found--and this, relatively late in life--is ‘the why and how’ of life really starts with biblical Proverbs 1-9. It’s a true, plumbline start. It’s the sort of start you wished you’d given your children. It’s the start you wished you had.
Chapter one commences in typical grand style, opening the subject of wisdom as if it were the rapid blooming of a vivacious flower. The first part of this chapter tells us the secret to this life: the fear (appropriately awed respect) of God.
And then it turns dark with asunder. It reveals life as a treacherous reef with scoundrels lurking and evil all about. ‘Don’t go with them,’ it says. Be of good courage, prudence and discernment, and heed the instruction of your father and mother--qualities developed further throughout the book.
The message of Proverbs 1 is without doubt safety (verse 33). This is both in the negative and positive sense; less harm comes and peace is the usual by-product of a life lived wisely.
So, the warnings in chapter 1 hold a key to us. If we don’t overtly heed the warnings we’ll be tempted to go the way of the simple, the mockers, and the foolish--this is not a good outcome for anyone. We only go there once. We should not make that mistake twice.
The message of Proverbs is life. Move over John 3:16; Proverbs 3:16 exhorts us to Wisdom for a long life, life riches (not material) and honour. Don’t miss it.
Post Script: Did you know there is biblical alignment in Proverbs 1 to the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:2-17. But that’s a subject of a future post.
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.