The Mind of Christ in His World: Part 1 (7)
Does not wisdom cry out,
And understanding lift up her voice?
She takes her stand on the top of the high hill,
Beside the way, where the paths meet.
She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the entrance of the doors:
“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.” Proverbs 8.1-4
We expect to encounter the wisdom of God as one aspect of the glory He reveals in His world. Wisdom is the fruit of fearing God (Ps. 111.10), and it is entirely different from what the world thinks of as wisdom (cf. Jms. 3.13-18). We seek to know God’s wisdom from the study of His Word, and we may expect to know it from observing and meditating on His world. Indeed, wisdom is one of, if not the principal thing we should be seeking in our study of all God’s revelation, both in His Word and His world. As Solomon explains in Proverbs 4.5-7:
Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
This is especially so because, as Paul explains, Jesus Christ is the treasury of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2.2, 3). To get wisdom, to gain knowledge of the glory of God in creation, is to get Jesus Christ Himself. And getting Jesus, becoming more like Him, is the primary work of God in our lives (2 Cor. 3.12-18).
So as we study the Scriptures and read the book of creation, seeking to improve our minds and souls with wisdom, we are above all wanting to know Jesus. For in knowing Him we will increase in a sound mind, the mind of Christ, which is an integral component of a strong soul.
Wisdom cries out
Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, cries out in Proverbs 8 – in the streets, around the corners, at every crossroads, in all of creation. Wisdom is the voice of the Word of God, even our Lord Jesus Christ. (Don’t be misled by the fact that Wisdom, speaking in Proverbs 8, is referred to by feminine pronouns; all abstract nouns in the Hebrew language are feminine, but this has nothing to do with gender.)
Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, is what we expect to experience, learn, and grow in as we seek the mind of Christ in His Word and His world.
And one thing we know about the Wisdom of God from Proverbs 8: He simply will not keep quiet! Wherever we encounter Wisdom, He calls out to us: “Here I am! Look at Me! Learn from Me! Be blessed in Me!” And wherever we find the Wisdom of God, our duty is to become His voice, crying Him and His benefits to everyone who will listen.
From this we learn that our celebration of what God has shown us of Himself in creation and culture is not complete until celebration turns to proclaiming Jesus as the Word and Wisdom of God.
The work of creational theology is not complete until, spurred on and enlightened by our encounter with God, we proclaim the glory of Christ and His saving work to the people in our Personal Mission Field. “This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done; Jesus who died will be satisfied…” And Jesus is satisfied when He and His wisdom and glory and grace are made known to others (Hab. 2.14; 2 Cor. 4.15). All theological study leads to Jesus, and Jesus insists that we bear witness to Him (Acts 1.8).
The revelation of God that comes to us in creation and culture will speak to us of the glory, goodness, grace, truth, power, and wisdom of God as these are revealed above all in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Our task of creational theology comes full circle when what God has proclaimed to us of Himself in His world, we proclaim to the people to whom He sends us each day.
Jonathan Edwards, the great Puritan preacher of the mid-18th century, used to go on sorties of creational theology. He’d get on his horse with little slips of paper in hand, as well as a pocket full of straight pins. Every time something in the creation spoke to him, he’d write it down on a piece of paper and pin it to his coat or hat. At times, he would return home from these retreats into the woods looking like he was covered with snow. Then he would head to his study and think through all his observations. In due course, one or more of his experiences with the revelation of God in creation would find its way into one of Edwards’ sermons, where it would focus the minds of hearers on the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.
All revelation from God – whether in creation or Scripture – finds its ultimate meaning in Christ; He is the Rosetta Stone of Scripture, the means by which creation exists (Jn. 1.1-4; Heb. 1.3), and the end toward which all creation moves (Rom. 11.36). Our work of creational theology is finished when we have connected what God has shown us from the world with the work of Christ – His work of redemption and salvation, restoring the reconciled world, ruling and upholding all things, and His imminent return. Thus the world and everything in it, which were called into being by the Word of God, realizes its own unique purpose, with the help of God’s people, to honor and glorify the One Who made and sustains it all day long (cf. Ps. 148).
Christ the Wisdom of God calls to the hearts of men and women from every nook and cranny, every niche and corner, of the vast creation. Our task is to see for them what they cannot or will not see for themselves, then to help them discover the One Who cries out to them, so that they might turn to Him and live. Thus the work of creational theology moves from observation and association, through integration and meditation, to celebration and proclamation as a seamless cloth of glorious encounter with the living God, by which we are renewed in the mind of Christ to serve His Kingdom and glory.
1. What is wisdom? Why is Jesus the treasure of all wisdom and knowledge? Why should we pursue all our observations – whether in the Word or world of God – until they lead us to Jesus?
2. How might you go from some encounter with the wisdom of God in creation to beginning a conversation about Jesus? Use the observations you’ve been making in this series to try a transition or two.
3. How would you like to see yourself be more consistently used as a mouthpiece for the Wisdom of God?
Next steps – Proclamation: Are you ready today to proclaim Jesus from what you see in creation or culture? How will the Wisdom of God cry out through you today?
T. M. Moore
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.