The Apocrypha in Lent – 6 March

If this is your first visit, please see my introduction to these Lenten readings.

6 March. Wisdom chapters 9-12

So far, wisdom has been presented in an abstract way, but now in chapters 10-12 she is related specifically to Israel’s history.  How the Jews love to look back at their history – it means so much to them that God had made himself known to their ancestors, rescued them from slavery and oppression, performed miracles whenever the survival of the race was at stake.    But three times in this passage the author acknowledges that God showed “forbearance” not only towards them but also to their enemies – Egyptians and Canaanites.   For God’s mercy is always seen to triumph over judgement, as St James puts it.

This, again, is where God’s Wisdom differs, say from human concepts such as “common sense” or “natural justice”. Not that those are bad ideas, but Wisdom takes us beyond that, into the heart of God’s loving purposes.  No wonder that Christians have often identified Wisdom either with Jesus or the Holy Spirit, the two ways in which God makes himself known among us.