Wisdom, A Tale of Two Adams- Teaching Thursdays Episode 57
The Better Bible Reading Podcast with Kevin Morris
The book of Proverbs is part of wisdom literature in the Bible. described to us in the Old Testament. While it is a practical book about life, we also learn that wisdom is centered on Jesus Himself. Today we will learn how Jesus is the second Adam, who fulfills all the promises of wisdom in the book of Proverbs. This is episode 57 of the Better Bible Reading Podcast!
The Need For Wisdom
We are to consider what’s being offered to us in this proverb in the if/then structure the book communicates to us with.
If (verses 1, 2, 4) Then (verses 5, 9, 16, 20).
Just as we are called to wisdom, we shouldn’t render this as mere “practical advice” for there is something greater playing out here. This is the garden scene from Genesis, set forth in Proverbs 2. In Genesis 2, the blessing of the image of God and the blessing of covenant are described to us.
Back to Proverbs, notice that wisdom sets the whole of our being as
First. our ears v. 2
Second, our heart v.2
Third, our voices v.3
Fourth, our eyes v.4
Fifth, our minds v.5
Mankind needs wisdom, and Proverbs 2 is the narrative of our Christian life!
The Source of Wisdom
According to Proverbs, wisdom is in God alone! Wisdom can only be practical when it is first theological.
In verses 6-7, wisdom is in God alone by covenant. This is clear by understanding that it is “The LORD [who] gives wisdom”. If this is true, wisdom is given to God’s church alone- His covenant people.
And if this is true, then wisdom is in Christ alone- the 2nd Adam (see 1st Corinthians 1 and 2)
Fleeting Pleasures and Foolish Words
The world gives us false narratives in the name of wisdom. These are so called “philosophies”. Yet, this love of wisdom is actually the love of evil, not biblical wisdom. In verse 16, the false promise of wisdom is precisely what Satan offered to Adam and Even. He offered them an alternative narrative to the wisdom of God.
The gods of the nations were offered to Israel in the wilderness in the same way.
The Citizens of the Promised Land
But the story does not end with the first Adam! It is unfortunate that the CEV tragically renders this verse as a command:
“follow the example of good people and live an honest life”!
It is not a command that’s left with us, but a promise- a guarantee! Further, it is the end of the if/then structure of this proverb. It’s the promised conclusion of the truth of verse 6:
The LORD gives wisdom to His church through Christ (1 Cor. 1.30)
Just as this proverb gives that promise, so does God in Genesis 3- that one would come to crush the head of the serpent with his smooth words. Although the first Adam fell and was banished from the garden, we have a promise of a second Adam.
Even though Israel fell and was banished from the promised land, we have God’s true Israel- His beloved Son and those who are found in Him. (this morning’s sermon)
In Mark 1:13 this narrative is brought to a glorious victory of wisdom. Jesus is tempted and overcomes the false wisdom of Satan. He does so in the wilderness and for 40 days among the wild animals. This speaks to Jesus as the 2nd Adam and the true Israel
Within these verses there is a sobering warning to those who seek wisdom outside of Christ. All that Adam failed to keep in his covenant with God, Jesus kept perfectly. This leads finally to the goal of wisdom:
A Tree of Life
Our hope of dwelling with God in His presence is the capstone of the storyline of scripture. The glory of God’s garden was the tree of life- and it was that which Adam failed to have the right to eat of. Do you know there are only three books of the Bible that speak of this tree of life? Genesis, Revelation and Proverbs.
It is forfeited in Genesis, sought in Proverbs, and promised in Revelation. Proverbs 3:18 says wisdom is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her.
Jesus says in Revelation that those who conquer will be granted to eat of the tree of life in the paradise of God (Rev. 2:7) and this tree will be in the new Jerusalem (Rev. 22.2).
Thus, our promise in Proverbs is that we will inhabit the land and remain in it forever.Adam was banished from the garden, Israel was banished from the land, but as we are in Christ who is the wisdom of God, we will dwell in the promised land and the garden paradise forever.