Life for Your Soul

For Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Proverbs 3:21-24

My son, do not lose sight of these -
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

In a time when war and terrorism are much on people's minds, the promise of ongoing security, political stability, and living without fear either sound very enticing or too good to be true.

In Proverbs, we find the encouragement and instruction of an aging monarch toward his son, the future king whose wisdom and discretion will someday provide not only for his own life and security, but also, as the head of the body politic, will assure the life and security of his people.

If we treasure the wisdom found through fear of the Lord, we may claim these promises here for ourselves. Nonetheless, it is in the kingship of Jesus Christ that these promises find lasting fulfillment. In the life of Jesus - and especially in the shadow of his cross - we know the true character of these promises.

While God promises security, he does not promise us safety from every threat, since even his own wise Son underwent execution at the hands of power. While our Father promises that we will not stumble, he does not guarantee the path we walk will remain without danger, since even Jesus' discernment followed the way of the cross. While God offers us rest without fear, he does not promise that we will escape death, since Jesus himself was laid in the darkenss of a sepulchre.

In light of Jesus' resurrection and glorification as king, however, we know that in him by faith we have security, stability, and hope. We know that these can withstand every threat we face in our world, since in his resurrection life Jesus, the wisdom of God, becomes life for souls.