3. The Foundation of Wisdom: Proverbs
Wisdom, according to Proverbs, begins with fearing God, trusting that he knows best and instructs out of love!
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
We all want to live wisely in life, but do you ever get overwhelmed with how many different perspectives are out there? From money to work to friendships, we are drowning in countless opinions on the best way to live.
The Bible offers a simple solution to our predicament. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God.” God’s wisdom isn’t just another perspective among many: it’s the ultimate truth. God knows the best way his creation should live to flourish.
The Book of Proverbs is a compilation of wise sayings from godly people in Israel’s history such as King Solomon, and it wastes no time in laying down the foundation for wisdom. In chapter one, we read: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” If you want wisdom, according to Proverbs, you start with fearing Him.
Now, fearing God doesn’t mean being afraid of him; rather, it’s an attitude of reverence and awe. Think about why kids obey their parents in a scary situation: they trust that the parents know best and that they instruct them out of love.
In the same way, fearing God comes from grasping both his superiority and his love: We understand that God has superior wisdom to us, but we also know that his wisdom is born out of love. Therefore, we obey his wisdom, knowing that his commands are not only right, but also that they are good for us. Proverbs touches on many subjects, but at its core, wise living is rooted in fearing the Lord.
It’s important to recognize that the sayings of Proverbs are not a to-do list to master but an invitation to look to Christ! Those who trust in Jesus are united to him, meaning that His power and ability become theirs.
The Bible says that Jesus is the very wisdom of God. When He came to earth, Jesus lived a perfect life, embodying all of the wisdom of Proverbs. For example, Proverbs 21:3 says, “To do righteousness and justice is desired by the Lord more than sacrifice.” In line with this verse, Jesus was more concerned with loving and caring for people than he was with religious rituals. He lived a life of righteousness and justice, welcoming the outcasts, healing the sick, and restoring the brokenness around him.
Another example of Jesus embodying the wisdom of Proverbs can be found in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus felt so much agony over his impending crucifixion that he began sweating blood. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” In the garden, Jesus trusted God instead of leaning on his own understanding. Jesus prayed, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Jesus trusted and obeyed God relentlessly, all the way to the cross.
Do you want to be wise in life? Trust Jesus, the very wisdom of God, and he will empower you to walk the path of wisdom. When you look upon him and his life, you will see his superiority: the way he obeyed God the Father perfectly. You will also see his love: the ceaseless acts of care and the greatest sacrifice of love ever made on the cross. you. As you set your gaze on Jesus, you will grow to fear God and obey him.
RESPOND: Where do you need wisdom? Take a moment to go to God and ask him for his wisdom in your life.