(this transcript has been lightly edited for readability)
Well, a fourth theme in Proverbs is the great biblical drama. You live in the midst of a huge drama whether you know it or not. Behind every biblical story, behind every biblical command, behind every biblical principle, behind every biblical promise, behind every biblical encouragement is a great spiritual drama.
It is the war of wars. It is the reason for the horrible disobedience and fall of Genesis 3. It is the reason for the covenant promises to Abraham and his descendants. It is the reason for the incarnation and the cross. It is the reason for the commission of the disciples in the church to carry the gospel message around the world. It's the reason for the gift of Scripture. It's the reason for the promise of the new heavens and the new earth. On the sad day in the Garden, a war was unleashed between wisdom and folly and foolishness.
Now, it’s really important to understand what this war is about; it's not a war of intellectual worldviews; it's not a war of abstract theology versus human philosophy; it's not a war of the way I think versus the way God thinks. This war is much deeper than that, and we begin to understand that in two ways.
The first way is that the Proverbs says, “It's the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom;” that surrender to God's wisdom is personal, it's relational, it's Godward. This war is about the presence of God in our lives; it's about surrender to the authority of God.
That war goes back to the first four words of the Bible, the most important words in the Bible, “In the beginning God.” If God is on site, then this is all about Him, His will, His way, His glory, His promises, His grace. He is central; we are not! And wisdom always surrenders to the centrality of God in all things! That's what it's about.
The same is true with folly, foolishness. Proverbs says that the fool despises God; he disobeys because he despises Him. The psalmist says that the fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” Foolishness is not just being dumb, it's not just thinking dumb things; foolishness is rooted in a rejection of the centrality of God, His authority, His glory, His will and way, in all things.
So, the moral drama of Proverbs is about how we will respond to God because everyone who's ever been born, whether they know it or not, is responding to God in some way. Everybody lives even an atheist, a Godward life because God is so present; He is actually the environment in which we live, that you either bow the knee to Him or you deny His existence and despise His counsel. That's the drama!
Now here's where Proverbs leads us, it's actually not natural for any of us to recognize God's existence and to make Him central because the DNA of sin is selfishness. We want to be central. And so, if you understand the nature of this war, what you will do is cry out for grace. May you give me the grace to make God central in all things in my life!