Proverbs and Puzzles
Read Proverbs 1:1-7
These proverbs are meant to instruct, to offer insight that is righteous and just, full of integrity. These proverbs allow one to grow into wisdom. These proverbs help us understand puzzles, riddles, games.
Wisdom is something we grow into and the fear of the Lord is the first step of that growth. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The fear or awe or recognition that wisdom is the process that figures out enigmas, riddles, puzzles.
The fear of the Lord is having the humility to respect the puzzle. The fear of the Lord is to lack the arrogance that may approach this riddle with contempt or maybe just a little too much confidence. The fear of the Lord is the first thing we must have in order to hold the riddle at the appropriate length in order to see the riddle laid before us.
I'm reminded that Paul used the same word in 1 Corinthians 13, specifically verse 12 that says, “for now I see in a mirror, as if life were a riddle. But then face to face, now I know in part, then I will know fully, even as I am fully known.” The word that is translated as riddle is actually the word for enigma - a puzzling or inexplicable situation or occurrence.
I don't know if I ever go a day without some puzzling or inexplicable situation or occurrence. Do you? Particularly for those of us who have chosen life in community, we see an exponential amount of puzzling occurrences in our communities of faith.
Step one -fear of the Lord. An appropriate amount of humility to begin the working out of the puzzle. That's step one. Wisdom is not found at once. Wisdom is something that begins and continues to unfold.
Creative worship idea – Put a piece of a puzzle on the cover of your bulletin. Encourage the congregation to write down a riddle that they are currently praying about. What issue or occurrence in their life is puzzling and for which they need wisdom. Cut out the puzzle piece and put it somewhere they will see it throughout the week to remind them to insert God into their search for the answer to this puzzle.
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