Proverbs 8:22-31

Proverbs 8:22‑31  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Listen from:
In these verses we have the plainest and the brightest testimony of this book to Christ's glory. Who can fail to discern that He is here viewed as the Wisdom of God? The personality of His Wisdom is as marked here as of the Life in 1 John 1. This suits God if it does not man.
“Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, before the earth was. When no depths were, I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth; while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the beginning of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I [was] there; when he set the circle upon the face of the deep; when he established the skies above; when the fountains of the deep became strong; when he imposed on the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment; when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him, a nursling [or artificer], and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; rejoicing in the habitable world of his earth, and my delights [were] with the sons of men” (vers. 22-31).
The remarkable truth here signalized is the Wisdom portrayed with Jehovah before creation, and not merely in that display of almighty power guided by wisdom and goodness. More than this attribution of eternal wisdom, as Jehovah's cherished companion before His works of old, a special object of His affection is carefully shown in mankind, even as He Himself was to Jehovah. This and this only explains why the earth should be so near and conspicuous an object to the love of God: often a theme of unbelieving wonder, if not for unworthy and thankless scorn.
“Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of His way.” There was Wisdom, not simply in Him but with Him, as is said of the Word in John 1:11In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1):” the Word was with God,” just as surely as He” is God “; and such too is the account of Him as Life in 1 John 1:22(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) (1 John 1:2), before He was manifested in flesh.” I was set up [lit. anointed] from everlasting, from the beginning before the earth was.” He was no creature of God, but was in being before His works. When depths were not nor fountains abounding with waters, He was brought forth; before mountains or hills were settled; while as yet He had not made the earth or the fields or the beginning of the dust of the world. He was there for the making and ordering of all, as He was before any. Nor did He thus precede the lower scene only, but the heavens which contain all. When Jehovah prepared the heavens, Wisdom was there; when He set the circle upon the face of the deep; when He established the skies above. When the fountains of the deep became strong, when He imposed on the sea its decree, that the waters should not pass His commandment; when He appointed the foundations of the earth: then was Wisdom by Him, a nursling [or artificer], and a delight He was, rejoicing always before Him, rejoicing in His habitable world; and His delights were with the sons of men. It is a grand, true, and highly poetic description, worthy of Him who was proclaimed in its season the Worthy One.
But whatever wisdom wrought on earth or sea, if the heavens declare the glory of God, and the expanse shows the work of His hands, there was a counsel deeper still, a love far beyond intelligence and power; and this we learn in the marvelous description. It is not the Wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which was ordained before the ages unto our glory (1 Cor. 2:77But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: (1 Corinthians 2:7)). Nothing do we find of God's sovereign love in choosing out souls to partake of heavenly relationship. It is His good pleasure in men, to be effectuated another day by His Son becoming man and in that redemption which secures His glory and opens the way for all His dealings of grace. What we have here is no revelation of the secret that was hid in God till Christ rejected went back to God, and the Holy Spirit was sent to reveal it. But we have the inestimable purpose of God's goodness toward man plainly stated, and distinct from the election of Israel for the earth, or of the saints who compose the church for the heaven, and indeed for the universal inheritance with Christ.
Hence the force here of Wisdom being by Jehovah, His delight day by day, not only rejoicing always before Jehovah, but rejoicing Himself in the habitable parts of His earth, and His delights were with the sons of men. Though it be not Christ glorified on high, nor therefore our union with Him as His body, yet it is an expression of divine love in and toward man, far beyond what Israel ever realized, as it will be in the days of the kingdom here below when He reigns and all the families of the earth are blessed in Him. For it is divine delight in Him whose delights were and will be with the sons of men. Hence beautiful is the praise of the heavenly hosts at His birth heard by the lowly shepherds by night, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill in men “; beautiful in itself, and in their unjealous delight in His ways Who made men, not angels, the especial object of His complacency.