Read: Proverbs 8:1,5
Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice? … You who are simple, gain prudence; you who are foolish, gain understanding.
Nobody sets out in life to be a fool. No kid ever says, “You know, when I grow up, I want to be an idiot!” As far as I know, there has never been a college student who majored in stupidity (although some parents may wonder). We are just not geared that way.
Have you noticed the booming market for self-help books and personal coaching? Just about everybody wants to improve their lot in life and will spend countless hours and untold dollars to educate themselves in order to have a better shot at successful living.
But wisdom doesn’t reside in do-it-yourself manuals or personal coaching programs. Wisdom isn’t even found in the classroom or in the university library. The true book of wisdom, the Bible, says wisdom starts with “the fear of the Lord.” That is the key. Solomon says the beginning of the process for gaining knowledge, living wisely and being successful begins with the fear of the Lord.
So just what does that mean? Well, what it doesn’t mean is to huddle in the corner in abject terror of the Almighty. Only those who have no relationship with God do that. Only those who have a jaded or limited view of God live in that kind of fear. Only those who are, in fact, enemies of God, are the ones who rightly cower in terror.
The fear that Solomon is talking about is simply a loving reverence for God. It is respect that evidences itself in submission to God’s will, obedience to God’s Word, awe of God’s power and love for who God is. That is what it means to fear the Lord.
That kind of healthy fear leads us to grow in knowledge—the absorption of God’s Word. It keeps us from living as a fool—one who is morally deficient and lives with no regard for God. It allows us to develop wisdom—the correct application of Biblical truth. It causes us to appreciate discipline—that which moves us to say no to temporal pleasures and immediate gratification in order to grow in wisdom, knowledge and understanding. And the fear of the Lord leads to life itself. That’s what Proverbs 8:35 says,
“For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.”
Do you desire to be a wise person? Understand, then, that the attainment of wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. And the fear of the Lord recognizes that wisdom comes from God. God is true wisdom and the source of all wisdom.
And God will give wisdom to all who fear him. Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the Lord gives wisdom.”
Why not ask him today for some of it!
“The fear of the Lord is the convergence of awe, reverence, adoration,
honor, worship, confidence, thankfulness, love, and fear.”
~Robert B. Strimple
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
Commit Proverbs 8:35-36 to memory,
“For whoever finds Wisdom finds life and receives favor from the LORD.
But whoever fails to find Wisdom harms himself; all who hate it love death.”