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We’ve met Lady Wisdom right at the start of this devotional, but as we read Chapter 4 together today, I want us to get to know her a little better.
I’ll start off by saying that I don’t think she’s what we’re expecting. The world would often have us believe that wisdom is some elder statesman, with greying hair, looking over the rim of his glasses down his nose at us. Why? Because those historically, have been the loudest voices in control of our cities, our industries, our nations. But from the start of this book, we’re not seeing those Greek theologians, founding fathers or industrial pioneers, we see instead a woman, a Lady. Immediately, to me, Lady Wisdom becomes more tender, less distant in today’s verses.
Joel shared on Day 1 that this book of Proverbs we’re journeying through is not a list of commands, but a passing on of ways of life that will enrich our daily walk in Christ. The verses that stood out to me as I read this chapter speak of encouragement, tenderness, gentle, but strong, leading.
‘Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her and she will watch over you.’
As we choose her ways over our own, as we walk in step with her, we not only experience all the strength and protection wisdom offers, but also her companionship and guidance.
Verse 6 says that as you love her, Wisdom will protect you and watch over you. Who do we trust to watch over our nations? Strong armies, wise intelligence services, leaders of integrity. We only entrust those with great power to take this responsibility over our nations, how much more so with our individual lives?
‘Cherish her and she will exalt you; embrace her and she will honour you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.’
Verses 8 and 9 give us, again, more insight into who she is. Who is capable of bestowing honour, exalting us and placing crowns? In the UK, the highest representative of the Church of England places the crown on the head of royalty at their coronation. In the US, Presidents are sworn in by the Chief Justice of The Supreme Court. What’s my point in this? You have to have power to bestow it. You have to have honour to extend it.
I see her in verse 6, one arm stretched wing-like over us, while the other wields a sword, and then, in the next verses this Lady Wisdom, full of strength, power and honour herself, does something as intimate as step into our sphere and place a garland on our heads, a glorious crown.
As we choose her ways over our own, as we walk in step with her, we not only experience all the strength and protection wisdom offers, but also her companionship and guidance. We’re never alone when we choose to walk in obedience.
As you read today’s chapter, ask Lady Wisdom, the personification of the Holy Spirit, to sit with you and bring fresh insight.