“When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.”
A BAD RAP
Somewhere along the line, Wisdom has gotten a “bad rap”. Ask the man on the street about finding Wisdom, and some will likely visualize a Buddhist monk sitting cross-legged, passionless, in a trance-like state. If you want to discover wisdom, he would say, take your questions to those guys. Of course the monk will never answer the question as you pose it; rather, you’ll get a Zen-like contradictory statement in reply.
Ask others about finding Wisdom, and they will bring to mind the scolding voice of a worrisome grandmother: “Put on your hat or you’ll catch your death of cold! Take an umbrella – it looks like rain!”
Frankly, I find both of those “visual images” for wisdom unattractive, unappealing, and unscriptural. How different is the Wisdom of Holy Scripture!
Wisdom was present at creation. Yesterday we considered how the personified voice of wisdom in Proverbs 8 points especially to the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ, by whom God the Father created the cosmos. In today’s verses, Wisdom is present as God establishes the clouds above and the oceans beneath.
What is of special interest in today’s verses, however, is Wisdom’s demeanor in verse 30: Wisdom rejoices in the work of creation! Wisdom dances with delight! And when the work of creation was completed, with mankind filling the earth, subduing it, and having dominion over all creation (Genesis 1:28, Proverbs 8:31), Wisdom is laughing and dancing for joy, delighted in all that God has done.
DOES JESUS LAUGH?
To even pose the question sounds, well, a bit sacrilegious – and therein lies our problem. Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, took raucous delight in the work of Creation. Jesus Christ, our Singing Shepherd, sings over the Flock with joy and gladness (Zephaniah 3:16-17). What about His (and our) enemies? Do they bring a furrowed brow of worry to his face? Not at all! Rather, “He who sits in the heavens laughs! The LORD holds them in derision” (Psalm 2:4).
LIGHTEN UP, PEOPLE
The path of Wisdom is the path of laughter, joy, and delight. Those who know the One who is Wisdom can afford a holy chuckle every now and then. We can laugh at ourselves, at our own foibles, silliness, neuroticism and mistakes. We can chuckle at the goodness of Christ who somehow incorporates our screw-ups into his glorious redemptive plan. We can even laugh the laughter of the Redeemed,
“Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
And our tongue with shouts of joy!” (Psalm 126:2)
Heavenly Father, we take ourselves so very seriously. Forgive us, Father. As we seek to know the way of Wisdom, fill us with joy, delight, and laughter! Through Christ our Lord we pray: Amen.