The rich and the poor have this in common: the LORD is the maker of them all. (22:2)
Once again, today’s chapters are heavy going when read as a whole, lacking any obvious link between one verse and the next. Of all the sayings here, this one struck me most forcefully, partly because it seems to be one of those ideas that does run through much of the wisdom in this book. True wisdom, we’re reminded again and again, is founded not upon common sense but upon the reality of the LORD. It is in relation to him that the rest of life falls into place and is seen properly.
It follows, then, that in the most important thing of all, our relationship to the LORD, we are equal whatever our differences in other matters may be. From that, in turn, comes the reason for treating one another with justice and generosity.
More broadly, though, I find myself wondering as I read the proverbs whether I need to come back to them in another way. Some of them don’t seem ‘wise’ at all, but there are many here which are about defining a perspective on the world. Perhaps the way to take them on board has more to do with holding one of these short sayings in mind through the day, and seeing how far it makes sense in the light of the day’s reality. The Bible is mostly set in story, but perhaps some of these sayings work in a different way.
Which would you carry with you into tomorrow?