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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 8:29

"When He set for the sea its boundary so that the water would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth"

Solomon continues to call out a time before any of the world was settled back in its formation stage. He is trying to reinforce the ancientness of wisdom. It comes out of the time before there was time. Wisdom is what invented the various laws, physical conditions, and natural phenomena we know of as the physical universe. Solomon is saying to examine how things in God's creation fit together and you will realize the power of wisdom. Without this underlying wisdom, we would have chaos instead of order and design.

In the same way, your life will descend into chaos if you do not follow wisdom. If you give into the selfish impulses within you and the temptations pushing on you, then your life will become disordered and chaotic, looking for some way up and out of the wreckage of your relationships. Wisdom is the only way.

The two main features of this verse of Proverbs is the boundary for the sea and the pillars of the earth. Solomon is calling specifically upon the Jews who lived in a coastal country to give thanks for the boundary of the sea. The sea was to the Jew a dark, foreboding, and evil place. So to put a boundary on the sea was not just a physical boundary on the water in the sea but also to boundarize evil and declare where it must stop.

One can stand in Israel and see the wonder of the sea lapping against the shore and marvel at the beauty. God, in wisdom, understood that raised land would be the best barrier to the sea and then arranged the conditions so that would happen at the appropriate times and in the appropriate places.

One also understands that God has placed a boundary on evil. It cannot advance beyond the place where He says. It also can be pushed back by our actions.

The second aspect of wisdom that Solomon would have us celebrate is the pillars or foundation of the earth. This would refer to the solid structures of the land – that which allows for human life and community. It is the land that shows wisdom in its diversity: coastal zones, forests, mountains, deserts, wetlands, hills, valleys.

Out of the timeless reaches of eternity, God used wisdom to design and then create the world in which we now live. Even though sin has marred its true radiance and wonder, we can still see the wisdom and glory of God in its design. Solomon is speaking to us from 3,000 years ago. Don't go against the wisdom that built the universe. Don't embrace the stupidity of selfishness and begin the descent to chaos. Make the little choices today that will allow others to win as well as you. Your life will become more ordered and rich.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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