A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: to understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. – Proverbs 1:5-6
I’m intrigued by the last three words of verse 6: “their dark sayings.”
To begin with, Christianity is not a religion full of secret wisdom only available to initiates. There are no secret hand shakes. Christianity is an open Book.
However, sometimes there are “sayings” (puzzles, enigmas, riddles) of the wise that are difficult to grasp at first glance. As a matter of fact, even the Apostle Peter referred to the writings of Paul as “hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16 CSB).
But a wise man distinguishes himself as one who will listen, learn, and seek wise counsel. When something important is a little hard to understand, he doesn’t give up and walk away, turn his back on God, and call the Bible a flawed creation of man. No, he admits there is something he doesn’t understand; he spends a little time doing his homework; and he goes to the sources to discover an answer, rather than to those who would question the wisdom of the author.
We often use light as a positive analogy, but have you ever thought of having to adjust to the dark? If you think about it, the most stunning view of the stars is not in the city; the brilliance of the Milky Way is best observed away from town, out in the country where there’s no “light pollution.”
Likewise, I believe the brilliance hidden within the “dark sayings” can only be fully appreciated once we’ve taken the time to get away from the city lights, flipped off the switches, and let our eyes adjust.
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