I had two choice in Old Testament passages today; Jeremiah 31:1-14, and this.
As the title says . . . .
“Wisdom praises herself, and tells of her glory in the midst of her people. In the assembly of the Most High she opens her mouth, and in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory: . . . “ (Sirach 24:1 – 2)
I have to admit to being a little divided about Wisdom praising herself. It is not that Wisdom would be dishonest or boasting – that is not Her nature. I guess I just feel that Wisdom should be self-evident, and not need to speak what is truth.
“I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth like a mist. I dwelt in the highest heavens, and my throne was in a pillar of cloud. Alone I compassed the vault of heaven and traversed the depths of the abyss.” (Verses 3 – 5)
And yet, I can envision a scene where Wisdom might be asked or required to speak and testify to Her identity and purpose. We talked about one’s “comfort zone” and stepping aside of it in order to achieve something, or make something happen. I know as I have grown older, I have found myself stretching and expanding my comfort zone, and not let myself be confined to a small segment of living. I have even talked to people about deliberately placing myself outside of my comfort zone.
“Over waves of the sea, over all the earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway.” Among all these I sought a resting place; in whose territory should I abide?” (Verses 6 – 7)
I have heard it said that some of the ancient nations gathered learning and understanding; but it was lost when other nations invaded and conquered that region. This part of Wisdom’s story aligns to what we know of humanity’s history. Wisdom does not necessarily abide in just the spiritual and religious aspects of life.
“Then the Creator of all things gave me a command, and my Creator chose the place for my tent. He said, ‘Make your dwelling in Jacob, and in Israel receive your inheritance.’ Before the ages, in the beginning, he created me, and for all the ages I shall not cease to be. In the holy tent I ministered before him, and so I was established in Zion. Thus in the beloved city he gave me a resting place, and in Jerusalem was my domain. I took root in an honored people, in the portion of the Lord, his heritage.” (Verses 8 – 12)
Again, I feel that inkling of discomfort. It is as if the writer of Sirach is looking at Wisdom in just one place – with the Jewish people – and at just one time – during the rise and establishment of Jerusalem. But the previous verses say that Wisdom has been all over and has existed throughout time. Why does he know pin Her down to just one place? Many have tried to claim Wisdom for themselves. But Wisdom cannot be confined. And if it could, it would not be universal wisdom; and who would want wisdom that is so limited?
We are looking toward the New Year. And most certainly we should take Wisdom into the New Year and be guided by it. Coming out of 2020, we will need all the help and guidance we can get. May you, beloved reader, ask the Divine for Wisdom in its purist form so that you may be liberated from all that holds you back in following the Lord God! Shalom & Selah!