Lectio Divina Reading
February 12, 2004
Solomon's prayer for Wisdom
You have chosen me to be king over your people, to be judge of your sons and daughters. You have bidden me build a temple on your holy mountain, and an altar in the city where you have pitched your tent, a copy of the holy Tent, which you prepared at the beginning. With you is Wisdom, she who know your works, she who was present when you made the world; she understands what is pleasing in your eyes and what agrees with your commandments. Dispatch her from the holy heavens, send her forth from your throne of glory to help me and to toil with me and teach me what is pleasing to you; since she knows and understands everything she will guide me prudently in my actions and will protect me with her glory. Then all I do will be acceptable; I shall govern your people justly and be worthy of my father's throne.
What human being indeed can know the intentions of God? And who can comprehend the will of the Lord? For the reasoning of mortals is inadequate, our attitudes of mind unstable; for a perishable body presses down the soul, and this tent of clay weighs down the mind with its many cares. It is hard enough for us to work out what is on earth; laborious to know what lies within our reach; who, then can discover what is in the heavens? And who could ever have known your will, had you not given Wisdom and sent your Holy Spirit from above? Thus have the paths of those on earth been straightened and people have been taught what pleases you, and have been saved, by Wisdom.
The glory of Yahweh rested on Mount Sinai and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day Yahweh called to Moses from inside the cloud. To the watching Israelites, the glory of Yahweh looked like a devouring fire on the mountaintop. Moses went right into the cloud and went on up the mountain. Moses stayed on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.
The inward struggle
We are well aware that the Law is spiritual: but I am a creature of flesh and blood sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand my own behavior; I do not act as I meant to, but I do things that I hate. While I am acting as I do not want to, I still acknowledge the Law as good, so it is not myself acting, but the sin which lives in me. And really, I know of nothing good living in me, in my natural self, that is for though the will to do what is good is in me, the power to do it is not: the good thing I want to do, I never do; the evil thing which I do not want, that is what I do. But every time I do what I do not want to, then it s not myself acting, but the sin that lives in me. So I find this rule; that for me, where I want to do nothing but good, evil is close at my side. In my inmost self I dearly love God's law but I see that acting on my body there is a different law which battles against the law in my mind. So I am brought to be a prisoner of that law of sin, which lives inside my body.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body doomed to death? God thanks be to him through Jesus Christ our Lord.
So it is that I myself with my mind obey the law of God, but in my disordered nature I obey the law of sin.
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