I’ve shared in the past about the marriage customs in Kenya. When a young man falls in love with a woman, he needs to get serious about cows. The dowry for the woman he loves can cost up to eight or nine, and if some of them are Holsteins, it gets expensive. Now he doesn’t have to deliver the entire herd all at once. It can be parceled out over many years as the husband honors his father-in-law and expresses thanks for his bride.
Kenyan marriage customs are a lot closer to the Ancient Near East than ours as Americans, and they help us understand why the father in Proverbs pictures Lady Wisdom as a gorgeous woman---a woman his son must purchase no matter what the cost. This father knows that what we are desperate to buy reveals our core values, and challenges his son to have eyes only for Lady Wisdom.
“Buy Wisdom! Buy Discernment! Don’t turn aside from the words of my mouth. Don’t abandon her for she will protect you. Love her and she will guard you. When it comes to Wisdom, the first thing is you must want her, and while you’re buying, get discernment. Cherish her, and she will lift you high. Hug her, and she will give you honor. She’ll place a wreath of favor and a glorious crown on your head.” - Proverbs 4:5-9
By personifying God’s wisdom (His blueprint for skillful living) as a gorgeous woman, this father taps into the raging hormones in his son’s maturing body and focuses those awakening passions on the kind of woman he should desire—a woman as passionate about God as he is.
Lord, when the iPhone 7 Plus was released, consumer’s got passionate about their purchase. Help me to have an even stronger compulsion to internalize Your fatherly instructions in Your Word.
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