May 15th 2018 – Proverbs 8:6-13

Hear, for I will speak noble things,
    and from my lips will come what is right,
for my mouth will utter truth;
    wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are righteous;
    there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
They are all straight to him who understands,
    and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver,
    and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,
    and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
    and I find knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
    and perverted speech I hate.

The second section of the chapter relates wisdom with a good and strong moral sense. divine wisdom is wed indissolubly to strict morality; therefore, whenever and wherever there is an emphasis in spiritual life which holds ordinary morality at a discount, something terribly wrong is taking place. One recalls the story of the Christian woman guilty of having told a lie, who when challenged about it said, 'I do not feel as if I have done anything very wrong'. Ordinary morality at a discount indeed! Telling a lie is not a little thing, it is a breach of divine truth. One of the tests of reality in Christian profession, according to 1 John, is keeping the commandments of God, and the man who claims to love God but does not keep His commandments is deceiving himself, because his spiritual experience is divorced from common morality. It is never unnecessary to underline this, for there are always some who sit light to the dictates of common morality when they are concerned about spiritual experience, brushing it aside as of less account than what they deem to be the weightier matters of spiritual exaltation. But we may not brush aside the ethics of the divine character as being of little importance: we do not understand anything aright if we do not recognise that in the divine standard there is an absolute straightness from which we dare not deviate. If we were to ask the question: where is such wisdom come by? There can be but one answer: in the Scriptures, God's written Word. This requires to be stressed over against alternative ways. Unless the centrality of the Scriptures is established, minds are immediately opened to the problems associated with ideas of mystical, 'inner light' experiences and revelations. The written Word stands over against such extravagances. This is so important that we shall spend some time in tomorrow's Note discussing it further.