One of my favorite scenes from Lewis’s Narnia stories comes from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where Eustace Scrubb—who is about as cuddly a personality as his name would suggest—finds himself in a scaly predicament. Eustace comes across a great treasure; overcome with greed he begins to imagine all the comforts of life he could enjoy with this treasure. He goes into “hoarding” mode. Eventually he falls asleep and when he wakes up, he discovers he’s become a dragon. Why a dragon? Because dragons are hoarders. They protect their secret fortunes at all costs. And they also physically represent this kind of protection, right? Heavy, scaly skin. They are covered in fleshy armor.
Despite people’s personal wounds—and in fact, to ultimately deliver them—Scripture clearly tells us “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). To become sin for us is to become subject on our behalf to the judgment for sin: “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Doesn’t that mean that He was, for that time on the cross, subject to the wrath of God our sins deserve? Doesn’t it mean that the weight of God’s judgment that was due us fell upon Him instead? Isn’t saying otherwise denying something central to the atoning work of Christ on our behalf?
I rarely link to the Babylon Bee, but this one is pretty terrific.
It’s not that I didn’t trust God ultimately. But at times, doing good would creep up to the front, and trusting God would get shoved to the back. I was focused on what I was doing (or not doing) for my children, and only vaguely aware of what God was doing in my children’s lives. Trusting God became something of an afterthought, and I would mother my children as if it was all up to me.
Focusing heavily on the external trappings of spiritual warfare – casting demons out, praying against the forces of hell, etc. – can actually distract us from the battle within. We can give the devil undue attention while simultaneously sinning, which is the exact opposite of what God calls us to.
Solomon instructs us on how to seek his kind of wisdom by personifying wisdom and foolishness as two women, both attractive, both sitting at the city gates and calling out to passersby to enter their homes: Wisdom “calls out from the highest points of the city: ‘Whoever is inexperienced, enter here! …. Come, eat my bread, and drink the wine I have mixed. Leave inexperience behind, and you will live; pursue the way of understanding’” (Proverbs 9:3-6 CSB).
In the next few verses, we learn three truths that help us seek Solomonic wisdom.
A favorite from the archives:
That “new” word is tricky, of course. What do we mean when we use “new” in the context of God? Does it mean the first covenant was a mistake? Had God now moved on to Plan B? Would there be a Plan C, D, E, F, and G, too?
Not at all. When we think about new, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that “new” really does mean new—but that’s new for us. In the history of the world, no covenant like this one had ever been made, and would never be made again. God was doing something totally different… Which is what he had planned from the very beginning.