Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Marshfield, WI

Advent 2023: December 18 - Presence

Monday December 18th: Presence

Read Proverbs 8.

In verse 22, Wisdom is described as being possessed, or the Hebrew says, Fathered, by the Lord God at the beginning of his work.  The first of his acts of old.
What or who is being referred to?  Who is Wisdom?  Well a quick look at the New Testament sheds some light.  St. Paul writes to the church in Corinth that Jesus is “the power of God and the Wisdom of God.”    

Jesus is Wisdom.  Proverbs 8 is saying that, at the beginning, God possessed Wisdom to make the heavens and the earth.
So, as we read Proverbs 8, we are noting that we are being told that at the beginning, the Father made all things through the Son.  Jesus is the image or the lens that is being used to construct the cosmos. The Father is using Jesus like a carpenter does a hammer or an artist a brush.  Proverbs 8 is giving us the viewpoint of the Son of God as he took part in the making of the heavens and the earth in the beginning. Even saying that he was with God in the beginning, which should make you think of John 1.

Proverbs 8 is the site of an ancient battle in the church over how to understand Jesus in the text.  
The battle took place between a man named Arius who said that this passage showed that Jesus was a created being, and the rest of the Church Fathers at the Council of Nicaea who showed from the Scriptures that this is not so.

But notice in this chapter something curious.  There is not a moment when Wisdom did not exist because before things were made Wisdom was there.  Wisdom certainly is Fathered by God, but like God, Wisdom has an eternal begotten nature. For the Father to be always the Father, there must always be the Son.
The emphasis in Proverbs 8 is not when was Wisdom created, which would say that Jesus is not God but a created being.  Rather, Proverbs 8 highlights the eternal begottenness of the Son of God.  It gives an extra layer of thought for when Jesus in John 8 says, “Before Abraham was, I am.”  At which the crowds try to stone him because they understand that Jesus’ claim is that he is one with the Father.