By wisdom the Lord laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew. My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you. Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you. Do not accuse anyone for no reason— when they have done you no harm. – Proverbs 3:19-30
This post is the first of many in the book of Proverbs. As I enter this reach of water on my journey exploring water in the bible I expect I will encounter many interesting and thought-provoking passages. I do not know a lot about the book of proverbs so I look forward to a “voyage of discovery” with God at the tiller and me on the bailer. Yesterday was a choppy bit of water for the group of students I am leading here in Ghana so my “eddying out” was a bit longer than expected.
Two days ago I was out in a large wooden boat on Lake Volta in east central Ghana. The boat is used by an NGO called Challenging Heights to find and rescue children who have been trafficked to use in the fishing trade on the lake. The boat had three crew, each with very important jobs. The man in the back ran the outboard motor and steered the boat. He watched carefully the man in the front of the boat who was keeping watch for nets across the boat’s path. The man in the middle kept us from sinking by bailing the boat. As I begin this float through Proverbs I will need a special “crew” — God the Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus. So off we go into proverbs…let’s get back on the water!
The passage begins…well…at the beginning. God is acknowledged as the author and Creator of the earth and the heavens. God created both the underlying logos that governs the natural world and the spiritual “spacious place” from which we come as we are formed in our mother’s womb.
God up to this point in the bible has appeared to the people as a Godly condensate, a cloud. So to say “the clouds let drop the dew” is really another way of saying God is the creator of everything seen and unseen. His hand touches all just like dew coats all surfaces.
The passage goes on to say never let wisdom and understanding out of your sight. I think this is really another way of saying keep God and the logos He has created at the forefront of your mind. If you do this “you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet”. I feel like I could use some sweet sleep after a very busy weekend.
The passage reassures us that God has our back and will always be at our side — sometimes He will even have us on His shoulders and we may not even know it or acknowledge it. God will help us avoid the snares of this world if we allow him “the Lord will be at your side and will keep your foot from being snared.” God has also promised to free those already caught in snares.
Prayer: God thank You for the wonder of creation and for helping us to avoid things that would ensnare us.