Foundation to Wisdom
The book of Proverbs is well-known as the book of wisdom. Solomon, the wisest of kings, used these writings to help people from all walks of life move to a higher level of intelligence, understanding, and discernment.
I have always felt drawn to the book of Proverbs, especially in my earlier Christian years, when I read Proverbs daily. Proverbs is lifechanging, and it has even influenced my own behavior and beliefs. I find myself able to utilize the principles that I have learned over the years personally and professionally to help people.
With God as his clear guiding principle, it's evident that Solomon had a multidimensional approach to wisdom. The book of Proverbs is often used to challenge us as we grow in wisdom and knowledge. Solomon brilliantly used short stories, analogies, and impactful words, but his writing serves the purpose to make us wiser.
So, let's dive into the Word! The book of Proverbs starts by saying,
"The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables."
As you continue reading this chapter, Solomon gives his reader guidance for growing in wisdom: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (Prov 1:7).
As an author, Solomon understood the need to express the importance of character before explaining the fear of the Lord as a gateway for knowledge. Wow. How powerful is that? This is the journey Solomon is inviting us into as readers. He is inviting us to clearly and thoroughly understand the fear of the Lord.
As Christians, it can sometimes be easy to view God as baby Jesus in a manger, the nice guy who healed people, or the sacrificial Jesus who died for our sins. Jesus is all of those things; however, we should also be recognizing him as our Lord of Lords and King of Kings, and the Almighty God.
Why is the name "Lord" so powerful? It means He alone is Master of eternity, time, and the universe. We are not. Understanding this context is important. In this verse, Solomon wasn't inviting us to know a democratic God who we vote on based on his ideas and obey when we want to. This mindset isn't a Christian one. So, how do we get, and more importantly, maintain the fear of the Lord, which is the prerequisite to ongoing wisdom, discernment, and protection from bad relationships? That is our journey over the next lessons—preparing you for a life of God-given wisdom.