Friday, November 12, 2010

On Time, Wisdom, And Love

Moses writes in Psalm 90:1-12:
1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. 3 You turn man back into dust and say, “Return, O children of men.” 4 For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night. 5 You have 1swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; in the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew. 6 In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew; toward evening it fades and withers away.

7 For we have been consumed by Your anger and by Your wrath we have been dismayed. 8 You have placed our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence. 9 For all our days have declined in Your fury; we have finished our years like a sigh. 10 As for the days of our 1life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away. 11 Who 1understands the power of Your anger And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? 12 So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.
I find it interesting that in Ephesians 5: 15-21 Paul seems to not only echo Moses but includes an ethical exhortation of love. In other words, perhaps Paul is fortifying his exhortation that we should be careful in the way we love one another in the humility of time since our days are fleeting and evil. Therefore, he argues we must intentionally love one another without hesitation; if you can love your brother today -don't wait until tomorrow.

To weave the final theme of wisdom in, Paul argues that true wisdom is fulfilled in love for God and love for neighbor that is without delay. It seems, perhaps, that this is nothing more than a simple ethical recapitulation of the greatest commandment resituated through the wise lens of the humility of time and life (c.f. Matthew 22:37-39; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:27). Consider Paul's words for yourself:
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And ado not get drunk with wine, 1for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to 1one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

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