- Over the next 7 days, I want to do something a wee bit different. I want to give you a little bit of Christ-focused devotional for the last week of Advent, and to do so want to use what are called the O Antiphons. What is an O Antiphon? Well basically they're prayers that have traditionally (I know, I know — I've used the T word, but don't stone me yet!) been prayed, one each day, from 17th - 23rd December. You might recognise them from one of the great hymns we sing during Advent, O Come O Come Immanuel, the full version of which has seven verses, each beginning with 'O'. So, over the next seven days, let me take you to some of the Scriptures behind these seven old 'O' prayers to catch a glimpse of Christ, our Advent Hope.
- So let's begin, and today, being 17th December, it's 'O Wisdom'. Here's the O Antiphon:
- Or, in the more familiar hymn form:
- The prophet Isaiah foretold the coming of Christ, the Lord's Anointed, and explained what this anointing upon Him would be — the Spirit of the LORD who is the Spirit of Wisdom. (Isa. 11:2). So the One for whom Israel was longing was the One anointed with Wisdom from on high. He comes with the Spirit of Wisdom and He comes from the LORD of Hosts, who is “excellent in wisdom” (Isa. 28:29). So, Christ is sent in wisdom, with wisdom.
- But not only that; He is Wisdom! When God “established the heavens”, Wisdom was there (Proverbs 8:27), fathered by God from before the beginning (Proverbs 8:22). And not only was Wisdom with God His Father in the beginning, but He was “daily [God's] delight, rejoicing before Him always” (Prov. 8:30). From all eternity the Father has loved and delighted in the Son and the Son has loved and delighted in the Father!
O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.
Oh, come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who ordered all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to you, O Israel!
- But it doesn't stop there. Not only was Wisdom delighting in the Father, He was also “rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man” (Prov. 8:31). The love of the Triune God is an outgoing love, reaching out to embrace us and welcome us in. And so Wisdom came into the world of men to bring “riches ... honour ... righteousness ... fruit ... better than gold” (Prov. 8:18-19).
- But how? Hear Wisdom's answer:
- Wisdom brings us righteousness by being righteous for us! Not asking us to work and earn His favour, but instead graciously filling our treasuries as we're united to Him in love. That is God's true Wisdom. Wisdom sent with the Spirit of Wisdom from the only wise God.
- And for such Wisdom there is only one name — Jesus!
- Wisdom is Jesus. And God's way of wisdom is His sending of Christ Jesus so that, through His righteous life and atoning death, He would become wisdom for us.
- Wisdom has come, and Wisdom will come again!
I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice, granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries. (Proverbs 8:20-21)
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption (I Corinthians 1:30 NKJV).