Proverbs 30:18-19 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, four which I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a serpent on a rock, the way of a ship in the middle of the sea, and the way of a man with a maid.
In today's proverb of the day, I want to expound on what the Bible teaches is the perfect way to understand a woman. This is especially the case when a guy is trying to woo the woman to be his. There are a set of inescapable rules and things you have to do - and if you do them - you will win any woman you approach. Those who have not yet detected the dripping sarcasm in this first statement on today's proverb - I need to let you in on the fact that I am not using dripping sarcasm - I am using sarcasm that is running like the Mississippi River at full flood stage. Any man who has gained any wisdom on the topic of women and how to understand them perfectly knows that such a body of information does not exist. If it did - and the women of our world learned of its existence, they would immediately change their behavior in such a way as to make the author of that book truly look ridiculous.
Today's proverb uses a common Hebraism of relating a series of things together that have a common thread. It was common to have people speak of three things that had common elements - and use them to relate to the fourth, which is the true focus of the proverb. Here, we see that the true focus of this proverb is that of a man with a maid. What the writer is telling us is that the way of love between a man and a woman is something that at some level will have to be left as a mystery. The typical, "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus" mentality that overflows from our societies' bookshelves, will break down eventually. Regardless of the number of degrees held by a psychologist or psychiatrist, no one knows everything there is to know about relationships between men and women.
God tells us through this writer that there are three things on earth which were wonderful to him - and even four which he does not understand. The science of our day would proudly announce that they have solved these mysteries by explaining the flight of the eagle by a sophisticated grasp of Bernoulli's Principle. They would equally pride themselves on an understanding of neuromuscular and skeletal activity to explain to us ignorant plebes the way of a snake on a rock. They might laugh at our utter simplicity and stupidity by explaining to us the principle of water displacement that allows such a heavy ship to float in the middle of the sea - and would enlighten us as to how to harness the power of the wind and sails to propel the ship through water.
I am very grateful for the things that investigation and the disciplines of science have helped us to understand. But for all the wonderful discoveries that I do enjoy - the one thing I have come to despise is the arrogance of scientists who seem to think that the whole concept of wonder either doesn't exist any longer. Or they feel that those who express poetic wonder, as the writer of proverbs does here, are simpletons. That I've grown to hate - because a world without wonder, awe, and mystery is a world that overflows with the overbearing pride of fools who no longer realize that though they were to pursue it for a trillion lifetimes - they will never fully grasp all that there is to understand about the universe. Honestly - it is not just the universe they will misunderstand - but the joy of life itself - which they will want to reduce down to a formula or two.
The eagle flies on the wind - and can rise and fall with it for hours having never to flap its wings. Its ability to do this while staring at the sun (with special eyelid covers which keep it from going blind) ultimately is a wonder and a mystery to me. The way of a serpent on a rock - its seemingly safe and sedate look - which can instantly turn deadly in a moment. The fact that something so deadly - cannot survive without heat - and how it draws it from the rock as it bakes in the sun one moment - and the next the snake hides in its shade to avoid being dehydrated and burned to a crisp is wonderful to me. To see a massive boat - even those in our day that are made of multiple thousands of tons of steel (which doesn't have the capacity to float on its own) sit in the ocean, bobbing up and down in the water which would sink it within minutes were the hull to be pierced - is still amazing to me. And all these principles that men have discovered and proudly named after themselves - who designed the world so that these things would be true? Ah, to have mystery is to still live in a world of color and astonishment.
Now to the way of a man with a maid. I've discipled enough young men and women to know that this is something I'll never fully grasp. How the most logical young man I've ever known can pretty much lose his mind and all of his logic because of a young woman who captures him with a single glance from her eyes - yeah, there's a formula for that! Love is something science has tried to quantify - even measuring pheromones and electro-magnetic impulses - but has failed miserably in trying to do so. These things are for the most part unexplainable - and wonderful. There is wisdom that will guide us in them - but not to the point of missing the creativity and glory of God in the process. There are principles that we should follow in pursuing a young lady - and others that the young lady is wise in maintaining as she runs just long enough and slow enough for the young man in pursuit to catch her (but not until he wins her and commits to her for life). The thing is that in the midst of the principles - in the midst of the pursuit - we don't ever need to lose the wonder and joy of a blush - of a heart that is ready to explode from emotion - or of a heart-sickness in having to be away from the one we love. To lose those things would be to lose our humanity. A wise man knows that losing that means losing something that mere science can never replace. God meant for some things to simply inspire wonder, awe, amazement - and honestly - a sense of God and His glory in this world.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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