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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, February 16, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Proverbs 1:20–33

Wisdom cries out in the street;
    in the squares she raises her voice.
At the busiest corner she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
Give heed to my reproof;
I will pour out my thoughts to you;
    I will make my words known to you.
Because I have called and you refused,
    have stretched out my hand and no one heeded,
and because you have ignored all my counsel
    and would have none of my reproof,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
    I will mock when panic strikes you,
when panic strikes you like a storm,
    and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
    when distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
    they will seek me diligently, but will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
    and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
would have none of my counsel,
    and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way
    and be sated with their own devices.
For waywardness kills the simple,
    and the complacency of fools destroys them;
but those who listen to me will be secure
    and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.” (NRSV)

Reflection
I like to think about how wisdom is embedded in the very foundations of Creation. There is wisdom in how all the parts of Creation work together to move toward health and vitality. In chapter 8 of Proverbs, Lady Wisdom says, “The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago,” and “When God established the heavens, I was there, when God drew a circle on the face of the deep, when God made firm the skies above, when God established the fountains of the deep” (Proverbs 8:22, 2728). Wisdom (in Greek, Sophia) was part of it all.

Many have seen the parallel to the description of Jesus at the beginning of John’s Gospel: “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being” (John 1:1–3a). In Genesis 1, God speaks with holy power and word-by-word creation emerges, an abundant diversity of life, interconnected, interdependent. Sophia, Logos, Wisdom, Word: God creates with these powers.

Throughout Proverbs, Sophia is a woman calling out from the street, encouraging and challenging listeners to value others besides themselves. Wisdom is not just for our individual survival but for the whole community, even all of creation, to thrive. Those who lack wisdom act from greed and suffer from the results of that. But those who listen, gain “instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity” (Proverbs 1:3), so that they may flourish.

Prayer
God of Wisdom, open the ears of my heart so that I may hear your creation speak to me of unity and flourishing. Give me humility to care and joy to celebrate all that you have created. Amen.

Written by Nanette Sawyer, Associate Pastor for Discipleship and Small Group Ministry

Reflection and prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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