Wednesday, December 13, 2017
The Proclamation of Mortal Man
I am weary, O God.1
I am weary, O God, but I can persevere.
Indeed, I am too dull of a man to discern.
For I have reached my limit and I don't even have the understanding of Adam.
I have not yet learned wisdom, but I know it can be attained.
Who on earth has gone up to you to bring wisdom down to us?
Who has walked the recesses of the deep?
Who has comprehended every detail of land?
Who has entered the storehouses of snow and hail?
What is his name, and what is his son's name?
Surely You know!
Our lives are filled with various trials and dangers.
And so You say, "Take refuge in Me."
Even if we don't consider every word of Yours to be true.
Even if You rebuke us when we add words to the invitation.
Every word proves true.
Our lies are found out.
Oh God, please consider helping me by granting two things before I die.
I need deliverance from my most basic temptations--those of falsehood and lying.
If I only had daily bread, the bread sufficient for each day.
I wouldn't be tempted to suppress You or transgress Your law in times of poverty or wealth.
I wouldn't be tempted to slander your servants to their employers.
I have done that before, and ultimately to my shame.
Every generation seems to act shamefully as I have.
There is cursing of fathers and mothers.
There is hypocrisy in how they view others while not seeing their own filth.
There is great audacity and condemnation in their eyes.
There is a relentless disregard for even the poorest of souls.
As long as that is what it takes to remain wise in their own eyes,
They're like the blood sucking leech and their spawn, crying out, "Give! Give!"
I ponder this vast domain of Yours, and the way they strive for satisfaction without You.
They're insatiable, like the grave or the womb which can't even produce life.
They're like parched land or an entire valley on fire.
Their eyes lead them into shameful desolation.
They could look for the wisdom from above, but they won't.
This mortal existence, and all its wisdom down here, is the only viewing they take pleasure in.
Many more things astonish me, and I don't understand how they can continue living as they do.
They rationalize their adulteries away, as though they have done no wrong.
They feast on violence and then wipe the blood off their lips, leaving no trail behind.
Like an eagle in the sky, or a snake slithering across a rock.
Like a ship in the heart of the ocean, or the way of a successful man with an impressionable woman.
The whole land trembles over such disordered desires.
The weight of it all cannot be sustained forever.
Consider the slave who finally becomes Emperor.
Or the senseless fool, filled with food at the celebration of his coronation.
Or the servant-girl who, somehow, some way, displaces her Queen.
Or the lady whom we all thought would never get married because of how insufferable she often is.
Do you think she will magically change overnight in her wisdom once she receives a husband?
Even many frail animals serve as lessons of wisdom for us mortals.
The ants prepare for bad times during good times.
The rock badgers provide security for each other.
The locusts cooperate together.
The geckos are defenseless, but they live in well-fortified palaces.
There is also a proper grandeur which God has given to His creation.
The lion, mightiest of beasts, retreats before nothing.
The rooster walks bravely among female hens.
The hunting-dog is another, as well as the king whose army is with him.
As long as mortals remain wise in their own eyes, foolishly exalting themselves above others,
Instead of being exalted by others,
We can only hope that they cover their mouths while talking.
Raging against others will only provoke further strife, of which we have plenty already.
Rules and prescriptions alone are not able to fix the brokenness all around us.2
Libraries of law won't suffice for the healing of generations either.
Only the wisdom from above can come down and save us.
The wisdom from below is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.
If any of us lacks wisdom from above, ask God for it.
He gives generously to all those who do so, and without rebuke or disapproval.
But be sure to ask in loyal trust of the One you're asking,
With no doubting about what you receive as being from the Lord.
If you remain double-minded in your loyalty, don't presume that you'll receive anything from Him.
Let the lowly brother boast in being exalted by Him.
And the rich brother boast in being humbled by Him.
Because like a flower of the field, each will pass away.
1. The inspiration for this comes directly from my reflections upon the Book of Proverbs, chapter 30, and the Book of Wisdom, chapter 2.
2. The inspiration for this comes from the book of James.