WisdomDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks . . .
This April I asked a friend to pray for God’s wisdom as my family enters a new season. He did, but first gracefully asked me, “When’s the last time you read the Proverbs?” I shook my head with an ashamed laugh, knowing what he’d say next. “You know, Ben, God’s already given us a lot of wisdom.” So guess what biblical book I’m dwelling in these days?
Following the verses above, Solomon gives the actual rebuke and exhortation from God’s personified Wisdom. But what struck me was the setting of her charge. Wisdom didn’t call out in the schoolhouse, often assumed as the home of learning. Her voice wasn’t heard in the home, though Proverbs 1 is a father’s lecture to his son. She didn’t even preach in the temple, where religious crowds gathered for prayer and teaching. These are the places we’d likely expect to hear God pour forth his teachings—and surely, his wisdom applies to all these and more. But in this Proverb, Lady Wisdom taught in streets and markets, in the public square and at the city gates. She spoke into Israel’s places of business and commerce.
God intends that his wisdom apply to our work.
The rest of Proverbs proves this to be true. Wisdom isn’t confined to gatherings of God’s people or the pages of his book; she breaks into every aspect of our lives. As she inserts herself into the parenting, ethics, and uncomfortably, even the sex lives of God’s people, she also rides with us to our jobs:
“The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it” (11:26)
“A just balance and scales are the LORD’s; all the weights in the bag are his work” (16:11)
“Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys” (18:9)
“Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men” (22:29)
“Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in your field, and after that build your house” (24:27)
And on we could go. In the everyday stuff of life, in relationships at work, and in the decisions and deeds of our jobs, God applies practical wisdom. At least as much as in our homes and families—and even more than in our church communities and on Sundays—it’s in our workplaces that Lady Wisdom praises good work, and calls us to live out God’s words and ways. Will we forget that she’s there with us (like I had for so long), or will we listen for her glorious song, soaring in the unexpected venues like cubicles, corner offices, and truck cabs? And when we hear her words, will we obey what she teaches?
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:Through what voices might God’s wisdom “call out” in your work place? Given the example Proverbs, in what specific wisdom might God instruct you for your job/role?
PRAYER: Father God, thank you that your wisdom isn’t limited to a day or time, but that it applies always. For the glory of Jesus’ name, give us ears to hear your voice, and eyes to see how you would have us apply your extraordinary ways to our ordinary works. Amen.
Your Work Matters
What if your work is drudgery? What if getting out of bed to head to your daily grind is just about to push you over the edge? What if Monday morning always arrives with a feeling a dread? We all want to feel as of the work we're doing is meaningful. We want it to fill us up, and we pray it makes a difference in the world for good. But what if you're stuck in a job that has nothing to do with what you feel called to do? What if you feel trapped and discouraged? In this series, Your Work Matters, we'll be asking some of these same questions. We don't promise to have all (or any) of the answers, but we encourage you to wrestle with these tough and painful issues, right along with us. Tell us your story. Offer your wisdom, and come away encouraged that you are not alone, and that God sees you, right where you are.
Featured image by North Charleston. Used with Permission. Source via Flickr.