All that wisdom: poof
Is it a coincidence that the books at the center of Hebrew wisdom are often lacking in the grand themes of divine excellence? Wisdom, righteousness and greatness seem locked up in the Law, but the winds have never found the sails. Like the choice offerings in the sanctuary, the great wisdom has vanished in a flash.
And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Deuteronomy 4:8
Wisdom that comes and goes
The nations of the world were impressed with Israel’s holy things, but the covenant lay in ruins from Moses to John the Baptist. Wisdom and understanding were supposed to be manifested in performance
… do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. Deuteronomy 4:6b
What about that great law lends itself to people everywhere? Mercy, justice, and faithfulness appear as God’s priorities in every age.
- Job gets dragged through the wringer of adversity to reveal, apart from the Law, that people cannot save themselves. He leaps on and rejoices in the coming resurrection, God’s covering righteousness, and a philanthropic lifestyle.
- David is all over those things that are both mysterious and material to the salvation of all people. His vision is not of Moses law as primary. It is a king who saves and rules by extreme righteousness
- Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, says nothing about salvation, endurance, worship, idolatry, faith, and forgiveness.
Slinging maxims and proverbs is no way to build a spiritual life
But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. Matthew 12:6
The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. Matthew 12:42