Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Daily Bible Reading: Wisdom 9 and 1 Peter 1

Wisdom 9 – Here Solomon pleads with the Lord to grant him Wisdom: “‘God of our ancestors, Lord of mercy who by your word have made all things, and in your wisdom have fitted man to rule the creatures that have come from you, to govern the world in holiness and justice and in honesty of soul to wield authority, grant me Wisdom, consort of your throne, and do not reject me from the number of your children” (9:1-4).

We – like Solomon – are “feeble . . . with little time to live, with small understanding of justice and the laws” (9:5). How can we order human society, manage our presence on this earth with all the demands we bring, all the problems we are so good at multiplying? It is so interesting how the author sees Wisdom as a “consort” – cohabiting heaven, the realm of the spirit, with the Source of All. Wisdom – the Logos – Christ: interesting to see these three as somehow ONE.

“With you is Wisdom, she who knows your works, she who was present when you made the world” (9:9). “Dispatch her from the holy heavens, send her forth from your throne of glory to help me and to toil with me and teach me what is pleasing to you, since she knows and understands everything” (9:10).

He asks for her so he may govern God’s people justly. I like this: “The reasonings of mortals are unsure and our intentions unstable; for a perishable body presses down the soul, and this tent of clay weights down the teeming mind. It is hard enough for us to work out what is on earth, laborious to know what lies within our reach; who, then, can discover what is in the heavens? (9:14-16) Our only hope is to be blessed with Wisdom, God’s “holy spirit from above” (9:17). 

1 Peter 1 – Peter writes this letter to the churches of Asia Minor, “living among foreigners in the Dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia” (1:1)

He sends his blessing on those who have been given a “new birth” as sons of God “by raising Jesus Christ from the dead” (1:3). Though they may be “plagued by all sorts of trials” (1:6) for a time, they will eventually have praise, glory and honor before God. Unlike the apostles, who knew Jesus in the flesh, they “did not see him, yet [they] love him” and are “filled with a joy so glorious that it cannot be described” (1:8).

Peter calls the salvation he describes as one foretold by the prophets. “Remember, the ransom that was paid to free you from the useless way of life your ancestors handed down was not paid in anything corruptible, either in silver nor gold, but in the precious blood of a lamb without spot or stain, namely Christ; who, though known since before the world was made, has been revealed only in our time, the end of the ages, for your sake” (1:18-19).

He urges them to let their love for each other be real and from the heart—your new birth was not from any mortal seed but from the everlasting word of the living and eternal God. All flesh is grass and its glory like the wild flower’s. The grass withers, the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever What is this word? It is the Good News that has been brought to you” (1:23-25).

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