“For the Lord gives wisdom...
... Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path.”
~Proverbs 2:6a, 9 (NRSV)
In 2007/08, beginning in August, I began an intense year-long journey in the study of Proverbs: one chapter per day, religiously, for 12 months. Initially it was a journey out of a short bout of depression: a sort of mini midlife crisis. What I learned during those 12 months, particularly regarding the virtues of Wisdom, I eventually incorporated in an e-book, called Grow In GOD. I think Proverbs launched me on a fresh quest for God’s truth. That quest continues today.
And in early Proverbs (chapters 1-9) the theological triple-horn—righteousness, justice and fairness (or equity)—are introduced. These are the three pillars of Proverbs’ Wisdom.
Three Pillars Separately
Each of these three become strong in our lives as we seek God in building them.
Righteousness is a hunger for truth, and the rank opposite of self-righteousness. Though it isn’t a popular term (because it’s confused with, or assumed as, self-righteousness) it is crucial to understanding God. We worship a righteous God, and our Lord will install within us a heart for righteousness, which is a longing for truth at any cost, if we will learn to trust fully in the Lord.
Justice is a sense for the world beyond us, personally. To understand God is to understand the significance in everything that God has created. Everything subsists in a delicate harmony. Justice is balance.
Fairness (or equity) perhaps leads on from justice, and there is a synergy with righteousness’ truth, also. Fairness may be our ability to superintend ourselves in the world, disassociating the selfish streak.
These three attributes of God set a standard for human interaction. They put us in correct context with our world.
Three Pillars In Conjunction
The knowledge of God, which is a key in living under God, is made manifest through ethical knowledge. The three pillars ignite a yearning for ethical knowledge; they project us on an energetic search for a stake in the interests of God.
The value of Wisdom is made sure in the learning and incorporation of righteousness, justice, and fairness. These three together are the foundations for holy wisdom. These three together will serve our journey more fundamentally than we could hope for. These three together will sponsor our growth in Wisdom. A study in these three together makes us better Christians, better people.
If we would seek God’s favour we would endeavour to understand the meaning of life. This is what Proverbs teaches. In this holy and ancient book we learn not only how to live life but the meaning for life itself.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.