Jan 13th, 2019
Hello and welcome to season 2 episode 8 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and over the next 10 minutes or so we’re going to be looking at the power and wisdom of God.
There’s a passage of scripture that has caused quite a bit of a stir amongst theologians over the years. Proverbs 8:22-31,
“The Lord acquired Me
at the beginning of His creation,
before His works of long ago.
I was formed before ancient times,
from the beginning, before the earth began.
I was born
when there were no watery depths
and no springs filled with water.
Before the mountains were established,
prior to the hills, I was given birth —
before He made the land, the fields,
or the first soil on Earth.
I was there when He established the heavens,
when He laid out the horizon on the surface of the ocean,
when He placed the skies above,
when the fountains of the ocean gushed out,
when He set a limit for the sea
so that the waters would not violate His command,
when He laid out the foundations of the Earth.
I was a skilled craftsman beside Him.
I was His delight every day,
always rejoicing before Him.
I was rejoicing in His inhabited world,
delighting in the children of Adam.”
There are three paragraphs in Proverbs 8 that was traditionally understood to be talking about wisdom. The passage we just read is paragraph two of the three. The early church almost immediately identified that the second paragraph and most likely the third as well were in fact NOT the voice of wisdom speaking, but Jesus Himself. The problem this caused, if you haven’t caught it already, starts right there in Proverbs 8:22, “The Lord acquired me at the beginning of His creation, before His works of long ago.”
That word, acquired, that the King James put as possessed, the latin Septuagint read created, and other translations have it as brought me forth, got possession of, this lent fire to the theories that Christ wasn’t an eternal part of God, but a created, lesser-being
That word in Hebrew is:
H7069 קָנָה qânâh kaw-naw' A primitive root; to erect, that is, create; by extension to procure, especially by purchase (causatively sell); by implication to own: - attain, buy (-er), teach to keep cattle, get, provoke to jealousy, possess (-or), purchase, recover, redeem, X surely, X verily.
This is the same word used in Genesis 14:19 when Melchizedek is blessing Abram, it says, “He blessed him and said; Abram is blessed by God Most High Creator of Heaven and Earth.” It’s that word “creator.” It’s used eighty-four times in the Old Testament that in practical use paints a picture of creating ownership. You would use it with the idea of going to the store to buy groceries. You would say that you kaw-naw’ or were a possessor of the groceries. Even though you hadn’t actually paid for them or taken ownership of them yet, but they’re in your hand. The main point though is that you have a plan to take ownership.
That leaves us with Proverbs 8:22 reading something along the lines of, “The Lord had a plan to take ownership of Me at the beginning of His creation, before His works of long ago.” Which, on its face, makes absolutely no sense. No sense, until we consider John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” That word is the Greek word:
G3056 λόγος logos log'-os From G3004; something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (that is, Christ): - account, cause, communication, X concerning, doctrine, fame, X have to do, intent, matter, mouth, preaching, question, reason, + reckon, remove, say (-ing), shew, X speaker, speech, talk, thing, + none of these things move me, tidings, treatise, utterance, word, work
“In the beginning was the Motive, and the Motive was with God, and the Motive was God.” A motive is the reason why you say something, why you do something, and that motive isn’t satisfied until it’s fulfilled, until it’s finished. If in the beginning, Jesus was the motive of God that drove creation, it drove it toward what we find in John 1:14, the word or motive became flesh, talking about Jesus. Luke 4:18 says that Jesus came to declare the good news to the poor, heal the broken-hearted, to herald deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind and to give freedom to the bruised. And John 3:16 says that Jesus came so that no one would have to perish, but have eternal life.
So the kaw-naw’, the “plan to take ownership” that we see in Proverbs 8:22 would be for Jesus to be born to declare the good news to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to herald deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind and to give freedom to the bruised. So that no one would have to perish, but have eternal life.
The arguments that plagued the early church over the implications of a word choice by Solomon to support theological beliefs that they already held instead of letting the scriptures refine their theology didn’t serve to enrich the church or further an understanding of God and our part in the cosmic tapestry of the universe. What these arguments accomplished, and still do, was the work of the enemy to stunt the potential of the church as a whole and to splinter what should have been one body into separate denominations. We should strive to understand the scriptures together, and this can lead to heated conversation. But these conversations should always end in mutual respect and love, especially if you don’t agree.
I’ll leave you with this final thought, 1 Corinthians 1:22-24, “For the Jews ask for signs and the Greeks seek wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. Yet to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power and the wisdom of God, because God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.”
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”