Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Christ in the Proverbs: Proverbs 18:22

Proverbs 18:22
He who finds a wife finds a good thing
and obtains favor from the Lord.
This is a proverb that seems to promise too much! Even keeping in mind that the wife is a good wife, and not a wicked one, can we really gain favor from the Lord through a righteous wife? It didn't work for Nabal (1 Samuel 25), who continued to be a fool despite the wisdom of his wife, Abigail. So what exactly is going on in this proverb?
Proverbs 8:35 begins to shed some light. In Proverbs 8, Lady Wisdom is speaking and says:
For whoever finds me finds life
and obtains favor from the Lord.
Notice the similarity of the two verses! In both, something is found: a wife and wisdom. In both, something is obtained: favor from the Lord.
In the Proverbs, Lady Wisdom is contrasted with Lady Folly. One woman stands for the wisdom, life, and favor found in the Lord. The other stands for the foolishness, death, and condemnation that is found in idolatry.
In Proverbs 8:35, Lady Wisdom is speaking. The Book of Proverbs urges us to be married to wisdom! We are to seek wisdom like some seek gold and silver and riches. Wisdom is to be our closest, most intimate companion.
Lady Wisdom is a personification of Jesus. When we come to the New Testament, Jesus embodies God's wisdom. "In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Colossians 2:3). And we are betrothed to Jesus according to 2 Corinthians 11: "I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ." Being married to Christ means that we are to have "a sincere and pure devotion to Christ," our true, eternal Husband.
So coming back then to Proverbs 18:22, we learn that a good marriage is a picture of the relationship between Jesus Christ and his people. Marriage is the primordial sacrament, because it teaches that we were made male and female for communion and self-giving love. This communion is imprinted on our very bodies, which so clearly point to a male and female union and communion of love, if we have eyes to see it.
Sadly, many are blind to the deep purpose that the triune God has inscribed on our bodies as male and female from the beginning (Genesis 1:27). Our biology, our sexuality, our gender, read theologically tells us that we were made for communion, first with the husband or wife the Lord chooses to give to some, and second, with the Lord Jesus Christ himself, a heavenly marriage that is available to all who come to Him! All of this can be seen if the blindness of our sin and the fog of our lust is removed from our eyes.
O the blessing of a good and godly wife and a good and godly marriage! But O the far greater and eternal blessing that a good and godly marriage is meant to reflect!

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