The question I would like to pose this week is whether a theophany of the kind that we find in Job 38 would satisfy people—the aggrieved, the hurting, the oppressed, the battered—as a response to political tragedy.
I believe the recognition that wisdom and love go hand in hand cannot simply be abstracted as some general and vague love for the world and its persons. It is, in fact, a general and abstract love that often becomes complicit in ways of death.
Psalm 1 presents the reader with two, mutually exclusive categories of human existence: righteousness and wickedness. However, experience tells us that to be human is far more complex. Rather than simply embracing the psalm’s presentation of life, we might enter a dialogue instead, one wherein we consider what it might mean to be formed by attending to others rather than reifying our existing in-groups.
Wisdom is available to the entirety of creation, regardless of gender, class, race, or any boundary established by humanity.
King Solomon’s desire for wisdom to equip him for just rule establishes him as the paradigm of the Wisdom tradition and as an example for us to follow. The scriptural emphasis upon wisdom in rule may contrast strongly with contemporary emphases upon technique.
In taking of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve attempt to gain rule before they are ready to exercise it. Their example may be a cautionary one for a church that too precipitously throws itself into the political arena.
Psalm 14:1, though popularly employed to dismiss non-theists as foolish, is principally targeted against practical atheism, against those who believe that justice is without force in the universe and that all that matters is power.
In the radical changeability and uncertainty of our world, the collapse of our political projects and the apparent futility of our labors can tempt us to despair. Ecclesiastes grapples with these difficulties and presents ways in which to maintain hope within the vapor of our lives.