I know it’s the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and this isn’t much of a “holiday” text, but given the way our nation seems to be more fragmented and suspicious, more eager to believe and say the worst about anyone who disagrees, I think the conclusion of this proverb certainly fits our time, though it seems there aren’t many people ready to make the confession this proverb requires!
The man declares, I am weary, O God; I am weary, O God, and worn out. Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man. I have not learned wisdom, nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
(Proverbs 30:1-3 ESV)
There are lots of “weary” people today, aren’t there? We are tired of the arguing, tired of the endless supply of violent deeds and bitter hatred, tired of the politics of division and polarization, and for believers in Jesus, tired of social pressures to redefine good and evil until there is no such thing in public discourse. I think even the people doing such things are “tired” of it, which may be why there is not even much of an effort to camouflage the corruption and greed. There just isn’t much admission of having acted “stupidly without understanding.” There isn’t much confession of lacking wisdom going on either, and it isn’t just that people lack “knowledge of the Holy One” (God) but some people are also insistent that there is no need for such “superstition.” I do not think it is a coincidence that the escalation of incivility and the increase in violence and greed accompanies the persistent removal of the knowledge of God from our public arena. But nothing can actually prevent all who know God from living out the wisdom that comes from God, that leads to good and opposes evil, so “let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due time we shall reap the harvest!”
Lord give us wisdom to leaven the world around us, courage to speak and act with grace, understanding to recognize the good you enable us to do!