We will not solve the identity of Woman Wisdom, this morning, but in our brief time, we might look at what our passage tells us about her… and begin to reflect on those images and ideas with God’s help… that we might better understand this One worthy of nine chapters in our Scriptures – who we rarely speak of – yet who has found her way into our lectionary reading for today.
If we lay aside her identity for a moment… of first importance is that her message is to everyone. Verse 4 as we noted earlier says “to all mankind.” The message that Wisdom will convey is not to a person, or even a nation; but to all people of all time. Her message is Universal in its scope. Precisely why it is to be trusted follows in the next sequential verses: she speaks what is right… detesting wickedness, speech that is just, nothing crooked or perverse, thoughts and ideas faultless to those who have knowledge. Surely there is not one thing said of the personification of Wisdom, which is not also true of Father, Son and Spirit.
What we find next is Wisdom’s place in creation. From Verse 22: The Lord brought me forth as the first of His works before His deeds of old. I was appointed from eternity from the beginning before the world began. When there were no oceans, I was given birth… when there were no springs I was abounding with water… Wisdom was with God in the beginning.
This section of our reading goes on to describe how Wisdom was the craftsman at God’s side when God marked the foundations of the earth. With God from before all else was created. Knowing the boundaries of light and dark, horizons and deep. Our reading ends with an exhortation to listen to Wisdom, for to listen is to be blessed… those who listen and find wisdom gain life and receive God’s favor. Promises that will be echoed in the New Testament, of someone this Old Testament writer knew nothing.
As I read and re-read, studied and meditated on the passage before us on this Trinity Sunday, I was reminded of again and again of God’s mystical nature and the mystery that surrounds Him. And that when we get to the end of saying or telling everything we know about God… we are still no where close to Who God is, or the nature of His being. The longer I sat with and wondered and pondered and prayed … rather than answers, I had more questions; but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Because if I say nothing else that you remember on this Trinity Sunday, what I hope you’ll hear is that God is more; God is bigger.
God is greater than any thought you’ve had, or have yet to have. Any answer you’ve clung to is like dust, because God’s desire is not that we live a life of faithful answers… but faithful pursuit. God’s is not interested in the teachings of the stalwart Pharisee. God desires a relationship with us, a daily coming and sitting, listening and learning, then practicing all we learn from being in His Ineffable Presence. That the Church through the ages has continued to celebrate this Trinity which the best of our scholars only has a theory about… only proves that the answers aren’t as important as sitting with Him in the questions.
I’m reminded just now of a line in a hymn that says: “and nothing I desire compares with You.” If asked the question, what do you desire… each of us, baptized in water – sealed by the spirit, should have but one answer: “we desire to know God.” And the path of that knowing… the one who leads us is Woman Wisdom. WOW.