May 14th 2018 – Proverbs 8:1-5

Does not wisdom call?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
On the heights beside the way,
    at the crossroads she takes her stand;
beside the gates in front of the town,
    at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
“To you, O men, I call,
    and my cry is to the children of man.
O simple ones, learn prudence;
    O fools, learn sense.

The fact that wisdom is here represented as coming down, as it were, in to the marketplace means that this divine wisdom is relevant there - at street-level, to use Kidner's phrase. It is there for the right ordering of daily life, for down-to-earth activities. The true spiritual life is meant to be a life lived out on down-to-earth levels, in the common days of life. Spiritual life does not always appear like this, however: there is a spiritual experience that is too heavenly minded to be of much earthly use, and the Scriptures will have none of it. Incarnation means 'down-to-earth’ and divine wisdom is incarnate, down-to-earth wisdom, and when it becomes embodied in a human life, it is in down-to-earth wisdom and practicality that it expresses itself. This is a good test for us: does our spirituality make impact on everyday levels? The question is not whether we are wise in relation to our understanding of the doctrines of the faith, although this is very important; it is whether we are wise in our application of these doctrines to daily life, in human relationships, in day to day converse and intercourse with men and women, in the shop, in the market place, in daily work. Are we the kind of people who on the practical levels of life are simply scatter-brained? The wisdom that this father is exhorting his son to obtain is as relevant to the daily minutiae of ordinary life as to anything else, and it is available even to the simpleton (5), for ordinary, down-to-earth situations and places in life; practical and absolutely relevant. Is not this something very refreshing and hopeful and encouraging?