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The Crux

Does Proverbs 13:16 Reveal Christ?

What kind of knowledge should we seek?

If one reads The Crux long enough, one might come away with the impression that I see Jesus Christ in every verse of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. That isn't actually the case, but I can understand why one might get that impression.

I do, however, believe that Jesus Christ is all over the Old Testament. I'm not alone in that.

There are plenty of reasons to believe that Jesus Christ is the primary topic in both the Old and New Testaments. Colossians 2:17 points out that OT feasts, the Sabbath, and dietary laws were merely shadows of things to come. There's a whole body of theology that delves into the many ways that Old Testament feasts and laws are foreshadowings of our Lord. I won't belabor them here.

Source: Pexels

Hebrews 10:1, presumably written by a different author than the letter to the Colossians, also refers to Judaic law as a shadow of things that appear in Christ.

Another theological word that alludes to ways in which Christ Himself is revealed in the Old Testament is "type." Some translations render the Greek work tupos as "type." I'm not a Greek scholar, but this is likely its literal meaning. Other translations render the word as "pattern," "symbol," or "figure" as is the case with Romans 5:14, which calls Adam a model, or pattern, of Christ. I like the word "type", as in prototype, or "pattern," because they convey the actual intent of the spirit of Romans 5:14. Adam was the pattern, the original ideation, of what Christ was meant to be and, more importantly, is.

While typology is an important theological rabbit hole, it has nothing to do with Proverbs 13:16.

What Is Proverbs 13:16 About?

Let's look at the text:

Every prudent man acts with knowledge, but a fool displays his folly.

Wisdom. That's what Proverbs 13:16 is about. But what is wisdom?

Wisdom is that quality that motivates an individual to act in a way that doesn't bring shame on himself or his kin. In modern vernacular, it might be called "common sense," a phrase which I don't particularly care for. It might also mean insight, with a capacity to act on that insight in a way that brings honor to the actor and those he represents. Proverbs is the ultimate wisdom literature, designed to instill wisdom in those who will pay attention to its insights.

In particular, Proverbs 13:16 simply states that the "prudent man," aka the wise, will act with knowledge. One might also say on knowledge. In other words, prudence motivates a person to act as if they are "in the know."

About what?

This verse has application for all sorts of things. It is an observation that can be applicable in all matters of life. From science to politics and from artistic interpretation to manual labor, wise people seek knowledge first and then proceed on the basis of that knowledge. By contrast, the fool simply moves forward without thought and puts his folly on precarious display.

But let's move beyond the obvious.

Does Proverbs 13:16 Reveal Christ?

The Bible is a spiritual book. Everything within it is designed to provide spiritual knowledge and insight. Proverbs is not an exception.

Given that, the man with no spiritual prudence might see Proverbs 13:16 as nothing more than an encouragement to seek knowledge, as if knowledge itself is the end goal. But knowledge itself profits nothing. Knowledge without love for others is vanity exposed by its arrogance. It "puffs up."

Love builds, edifies, strengthens. Not just oneself, but others. The Church. Knowledge builds, edifies, strengthens oneself. At times, it can do so at the expense of others.

Knowledge is a wonderful thing, but knowledge of Christ is the most important thing. That's why our Lord exhorted His disciples to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. He didn't say to merely seek knowledge of the Kingdom, but seek the Kingdom itself. And not just the Kingdom, but the King's righteousness. We are to seek Christ, the righteous King Himself.

When we follow that injunction, we discover a kind of knowledge that cannot be acquired by human means. Christ Himself imparts a kind of knowledge that can only be acquired by knowing Him. That knowledge extends beyond Bible reading, attending worship services, and following church programs. It is a spiritual knowledge that all of the above can reinforce, but that knowledge can only be obtained by pursuing Christ:

To pursue Him as a predator tracks its prey.

That's how serious we must become in our search for that spiritual reality which can only be found in Christ. Anything short of that is like putting one's hand to the plow and looking back. It could mean we are nothing but fools displaying our folly.

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#the crux#proverbs#jesus christ#bible#genesis#revelation#kingdom of god#old testament#new testament#colossians#feasts#sabbath#laws#judaic law#dietary laws#types and shadows#theology#foreshadow#hebrews#romans#adam#typology#wisdom#wisdom literature#folly#shame#knowledge
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