It’s a worn-out stereotype that guys don’t like to ask for directions, and when we get a new tool or a new piece of gear for something we enjoy, we skip the manual and try to figure it out on our own first. I’ll openly admit that I was that guy. Now that I’m older, I just realize it’s faster to at least leaf through the manual looking for something you didn’t already assume. If you find something – well, good. If it all looks like you thought it would, chuck it to the side and congratulate yourself that you would have been fine.
This summer, we are jumping into a new sermon series from the book of Proverbs! Why Proverbs? Coming out of the book of Esther, among other things, we learned that God is in the details of ordinary life. Some of those details are spelled out in the moral laws of scripture (don’t lie, don’t murder, don’t steal, honor your parents, etc), and for the most part are easy to define. On the other hand, some details in life are a little trickier. They don’t have a hard fast law attached to them. For example, should I have a budget? Should I send my children to private school or public? Should we buy a new car or keep fixing the old one?
That’s where wisdom comes in.
Ephesians 1 tells us that God’s saving grace (through the death of Jesus) has been lavished on us in all wisdom and understanding according to the purpose of his will, a plan for all time. That means the plan of salvation isn’t some loophole in the system, but rather is the deeply thought-out, well designed plan of God before a single human being was created! Wisdom is a key component not only in God’s fashioning of the world, but in designing the very grace that would reconcile sinners to a holy God!
That means, the wisdom of Proverbs isn’t just some old-timer named Solomon telling kids to get off his lawn. It’s the gospel! The very wisdom of Christ, written in words we can understand, so that ordinary people like you and me and Esther and Mordecai can have access to the Designer’s intentions for how we ought to live out the details of ordinary living. I’ve heard it said, “I wish life came with a manual.” Well, in a manner of speaking, it does! That’s Proverbs! It’s the wisdom of Christ for all generations, across all cultures and all socioeconomic constructs. It is good news for the poor, the weak, the helpless, the failure, the simple, the fool.
So, for the next 13 weeks, let’s put aside our pride. Put aside our own understanding. Let’s pick up the manual, and spend some time with Wisdom. We may find out it saves us a lot of headache.