(2) The dark side of Wisdom

The original title of this blog was “Wisdom as a bitch”.  For those who have just dropped in, my premise is to examine Wisdom in Proverbs as female, wise and loving in the way that Jesus described his ‘Father’, not Joseph but God.  The chapters I am use specifically define wisdom as female.  Proverbs 1:20-33, 8:1-36 and 9:1-18.

Sticking with the theme from ‘Folly to be Wise’ .. our first example of folly is in deciding that this is an appropriate example of the behaviour of a loving God, or even a creation of God (discussed more in the next article “The nature of Wisdom”); the God who Jesus tried so hard to convince us was watching over us and loving us unconditionally (1 Corinthians 1:1-13).  Paraphrasing … ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ (John 13:34, 15:12).  If Wisdom is the example, it is no wonder living people do not get along with each other.

Wisdom as a female prophet

In Proverbs 1:20-23 Wisdom, as a woman, was outside yelling in the streets, demanding attention.  She called everyone ‘simple ones’.
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I shall extend this a little and suggest she meant ‘simple-minded’ in our language, given that she later refers to fools or foolish people.  The dictionary meaning of simple-minded is:  “not very intelligent, or having or showing a lack of good sense or judgement” (1).  Is she calling to fools in hope they will listen to her, or the innocent who will not look past the covering of sweet words and promises?
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Proverbs 1:24-33
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24 Because I have called and you refused;  have stretched out my hand and no one heeded, 
25 And because you have ignored all my counsel and would have none of my reproof,
26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when panic strikes you,
27 when panic strikes you like a storm, and your calamity comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you.
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Is this Wisdom, wise and kind?  She turns her back on those who do not listen to her.  She laughs and mocks.  Is that what a loving creation of God would do?  Is this what God does to those who believe in him?  And even to those who don’t?  If God loves all of his creations unconditionally, then those who do not believe are loved as much as those who do.  They are all given the opportunity to choose another path – the one that leads back to him.  Whether God loves unconditionally or not is not a discussion for today, but it will become another blog in the future.
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28 Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but will not find me.
29 Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
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Humanity chooses not the fear the Lord, but Wisdom is not ‘The Lord’ so her anger at them is on God’s behalf, or is it?  Given that we are supposed to pay attention to ‘her’ (Proverbs 22:17-18, 5:1-6) and give her the same respect as God, where does she place herself in the hierarchy?
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Her behaviour is not God’s behaviour – “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.  For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened”. (Matthew 7:7-8 & Luke 11:9-10)
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30 would have none of my counsel, and despised all my reproof,
31 therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way and be sated with their own devices.
A reference to Genesis 3:6 when Eve and then Adam ate the fruit and they were both expelled from the “Garden”.  Humanity was foolish then, and if they do not listen to ‘her’ they will remain that way.
32 For waywardness kills the simple, and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33 but those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.
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Having done many years research into the concept of fallen angels, I can perfectly see here the storms and rages of an invisible being acting in the mirror image of her* true nature as Wisdom.

  • Please note that when I say ‘her’ I am doing two things, following the theme of wisdom as a female (all emotion) and also that fallen angels (demons) are also driven by emotion (ego).  I am not classifying the female human race as either all emotion or demons.

The nature of Wisdom is to learn and teach.  This being called ‘Wisdom’ offers so much with one hand, and takes it back with the other.  She is, if you like, in two minds.  The angel of Illumination (2) would swap from teaching Love and Wisdom to teaching Hatred and Confusion.  She would act out her dissatisfaction with those who refuse to follow her – in a way that is exactly opposite a loving God, but more like the behaviour of Jehovah, who is not to be trusted.

The Blessings of Wisdom

Proverbs 8:1-36

13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil …
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I could write a whole page on this very short sentence.  To me it has one meaning.  Every commentary I have checked either ignores it, or tries to rewrite it, sometimes in great depth, or explain that it means something it doesn’t say.  They refer to Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction”; and 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight”.  But it does not say either of those things.  It says ‘The fear of the Lord .. is hatred of evil’ .. as if this Lord fears that people will “hate evil”?  Who is this Lord?  9:10 makes perfect sense if it is an entity that should be avoided, such as Wisdom and ‘him’self.  (Lord being a male title). The rest of 13 is …  pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
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14 I have good advice and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.
15 By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me rulers rule, and nobles, all who govern rightly.
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.
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14 – 17 are all “I am” statements, demonstrating her power.  Like God in Job 38, 39 & 41, some of which appears to be incoherent rantings.  For example, 41:1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook …?” when Job calls God to account for his suffering.
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And then there are these:
Wisdom offers …
18 Riches and honour are with me, enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,
21 endowing with wealth those who love me, and filling their treasuries.
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Matthew 6:19-21
Jesus offers …
19 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth; where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal;
20 but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
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Who is this being called Wisdom?   There is more to follow ….
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Is God evil?

Hey .. you true believers out there – will one of you please explain why your group always seems to run away from the tough questions? It’s not like you can’t see them .. or maybe you can’t, but when they are pointed out to you – why don’t you answer? Please, try and prove me wrong. I don’t want to believe that the ‘one’ God in the bible is evil – but the facts seem to speak for themselves. What do I mean? How can I possibly say that? Well, to start with, I don’t believe there’s only one God .. so let’s be a little specific and look only at the OT one, for now.

Is God evil?

First let’s define evil.

1. Morally bad or wrong; wicked: an evil tyrant.
2. Causing ruin, injury, or pain; harmful: the evil effects of a poor diet.
3. Characterized by or indicating future misfortune; ominous: evil omens.
4. Bad or blameworthy by report; infamous: an evil reputation.
5. Characterized by anger or spite; malicious: an evil temper.
n.
1. The quality of being morally bad or wrong; wickedness.
2. That which causes harm, misfortune, or destruction: a leader’s power to do both good and evil.
3. An evil force, power, or personification.
4. Something that is a cause or source of suffering, injury, or destruction: the social evils of poverty and injustice.
adv. Archaic
In an evil manner.

TheFreeDictionary – evil That is a fascinating page. I am grateful to the creator of the page for all the information on it.

Here’s a simply hypothesis – did God create all things? Let’s look in Genesis. The first two chapters are very specific – he created the heavens and the earth and everything in it. Paul in Colossians (or whomever actually wrote it, since the author is under dispute) 1:16 certainly thinks so. So says Revelation 4:11, 10:6, Isaiah 42:5, 45:12 and, creation through Jesus is stressed in Colossians 1:15-18, John 1:1-3,10, Ephesians 3:9. That’s pretty clear.

Since God created everything, where did evil come from? It can’t have come from some outside source if God IS everything, and it must have God within it since God is IN everything. So where does that leave us with this very brief question? Yes, God ‘is’ evil, just in the same way he/IT ‘is’ good. Back to Genesis 1:27 “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.” Now we know where we get it from.

Not enough, hey? Ok, let’s look at the concept of ‘morally wrong acts’.

Is it morally wrong to give a bomb to a child and ask it not pull the pin? Or a loaded gun and ask it not to point and shoot? Yes, I’m talking about Adam and Eve. Why put them into a garden of perfection, and then deliberately point out the only tree they were not allowed to touch? And how did the serpent get in there in the first place, to ‘tempt’ them to their own destruction? Don’t tell me the all knowing God didn’t know Satan (for want of a more accurate name) was there? Doesn’t that remove the whole concept of ‘all knowing’? Did God expect too much of it’s innocent (childlike) creations? And on that thought, why did God create beings that couldn’t change? Because hanging around in a beautiful garden, without having to do a thing ever, is not going to teach anyone anything .. but pop in a bit of temptation, and suddenly the humans had to fend for themselves in an unknown wilderness .. that’s a great way to learn to survive, or perish.

Now let’s step out of the garden and into Lot’s life. Is one act of evil mitigated by another act of evil? Is it morally wrong to destroy two entire communities of people who are acting in morally wrong ways? How does anyone get a chance to learn and change if you take away their lives .. and where did they go when they were dead – because hell was not really an OT topic? But that’s another story. And why kill Lot’s wife for looking over her shoulder, and not kill her daughters for acts of incest, that God later decided were not good behaviour? What changed his mind?

Then we’ll look at Abraham. Is it morally wrong to ask a man to kill his son to prove his faith? Is lying wrong too, because God obviously had no intention of allowing the boy to die, so why put Abraham through that psychological torture (and it had to be torture, unless the man was a nut), when God thought Abraham was a true believer?

And talking about true believers, how about Job. He’s a conundrum all to himself. I really should go back to Saul, another of my favourites .. one of God’s favourites for a while, until he disobeyed the order to ‘murder an entire tribe of people’ (shades of Sodom and Gomorrah?) just because God didn’t like them at the time. God sent ‘an evil angel from the Lord’ to torment him into insanity. Is that a moral act? After all, he murdered hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent people, and only spared one and some food.

Is the OT God evil? Well, how would those people feel about it? And why should we love such a God, if IT cannot be trusted to speak first before pulling the trigger? If a person like that breaks into your home what would you do?

And then we have the NT God who teaches “love one another as I have loved you”. The most evil act IT did seems to have been to ask Jesus to sacrifice himself for love of us. I think I’ll stick with EL.

Love & Peace
Ama