A Christmas reflection for Saturday, December 30th by Rebekah Bolin
Lectionary reading for 12/30/2023: Psalm 148; Proverbs 9:1-12; 2 Peter 3:8-13
Selected passage for reflection: Proverbs 9:1-12
Proverbs 9:1-12 NIV
1 Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars.
2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city
4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!”To those who have no sense she says,
5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”
7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
God places a high value on wisdom. And the awesome thing is, is that God desires to give it to those who want it (me, Lord, pick me!). The dictionary defines wisdom as the ability to discern inner qualities and relationships (insight) and having good sense (judgment). It means the ability to reach intelligent conclusions. Biblical or Godly wisdom means applying God’s truths to how we live, the words we use/don’t use, and the decisions we make.
Proverbs 9:1-12 personifies wisdom as a woman. She builds a house, cooks a feast, and then invites anyone and everyone to come dine with her. Those who are willing to come eat and learn from her will be led on a path of success and a life of rewards.
So what does it mean to go and dine with wisdom? In other words, how do we gain Godly wisdom? From this passage we see the first thing is to fear God. Proverbs 9:10 says it is the beginning of wisdom. Fearing God does not infer something scary, but rather it means respecting God as a child respects their parents. It involves trust, obedience, and a looking-up-to reverence. The second thing is to desire wisdom. I don’t know about you, but I would rather make wise decisions over stupid ones. I would rather my words be wise than foolish. When one desires wisdom, the next thing is to pray for it. In James 1:5, it plainly states God gives wisdom to those who pray for it. And finally, a way to “dine with wisdom” is to study how the Bible teaches us to live, to discern, to speak, and to love.
As we enter into a new year, let's accept Wisdom's offer to dine with her. Let's begin the new year by seeking to live a life of wisdom. Let's focus on: 1. Fearing God 2. Desiring wisdom 3. Praying for wisdom and 4: Studying the Bible to learn more. As this passage in Proverbs reminds us, good things come to those who accept the invitation to a life of wisdom. Rewards and success are waiting for us. May 2024 be your wisest and most rewarding year yet!
I challenge each reader to set aside the month of January to seek and pray for wisdom. Be intentional, it could look something like:
January week 1: Humble your heart through prayer and reflection, and study how to fear God (remember, this is the first step in gaining wisdom).
January week 2: Write down areas in your life where you desire more wisdom (i.e. at work, family life, finances, How you speak, a big decision, etc. Be very specific.
January week 3: Spend the week praying over the things you wrote down throughout week 2.
January week 4: Study various scriptures on how to live wisely.
January week 5: Incorporate all of the above in a way the Spirit leads.
Dear God, I pray to live a life of wisdom. May your Holy Spirit guide me to make wise decisions in all areas of my life. I pray you would give me wisdom with my words, my actions, and my thoughts. I pray my life would reflect your wisdom, which ultimately will point to your love.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
About the Author
After growing up in Wisconsin, Rebekah graduated from Fuller Seminary and has lived in Los Angeles since 2006 (minus a year and a half of living on the Big Island of Hawaii). In 2018 she started and pastored a church in Downtown LA. The church has been on hold since covid, but the vision is still alive and well and she hopes to eventually start it back up. Until then she is out traveling as she works for a major U.S. airline. In her free time, she loves to travel, hike, put together jigsaw puzzles, try new food, play soccer, laugh around the dinner table with family and friends, and enjoy the adventures of life the Lord takes her on.