Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wisdom: Practical

All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life.
-Proverbs 7:22-23

Many of the Proverbs to this point have talked about the temptation of adultery and following the “forbidden woman.” Wisdom does not only work on the academic, philosophical, spiritual plain. Wisdom is also, if not predominately, practical. In married life, there are many temptations to be unfaithful. But to do so is to be a fool. These two verses from Proverbs 7 make an interesting comparison to the man who betrays the way of Wisdom to life in the life of lust and sel-f gratification. He is no longer a man, “all at once” he becomes like an animal: an ox, a stag, a bird. The foolishness of his path has lead him away from that Divine Wisdom, which is his only source of humanity and life.

He is not just an animal, but a doomed animal. The ox that is to be slaughtered, the stag that is pierced by the arrow, the bird in the snare. If you have ever been a part of butchering or hunting, you know that an animal that is being lead to the slaughter, or an animal who is peirced by an arrow or caught in a snare has no idea that its doom is imminent. The animal is totally ignorant of anything other than the desire to fulfill its needs. This is what the Proverb is telling us. You want to forsake the commandments of our Good Father? You want to follow after the prostitute and the forbidden woman? Then you want to throw away your life. Then you want to renounce your birthright as a human being. And not just any human being, but a human being who has been bought with the precious blood of Christ.

If you have found yourself like an ox or a stag or a bird that is ignorant of its own doom, turn to your Master. Leave your paths of iniquity and self-desire and turn to the path of life.

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Lord God, our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, keep us from cruel and beastly ignorance and lead us ever in Your Holy Wisdom. We have been given the most beautiful gift of salvation and life in Christ, may we never squander that great blessing and high distinction. Hear us for the sake of Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, now and forever.
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