Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Of Proverbs 6

Just a little more about the fear of the Lord and wisdom....

Proverbs 1:7 is the central statement that summarizes all of the wisdom books. It is the thesis of the wisdom literature in the Bible:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The "fear of the Lord" is mentioned nearly 20 times in Proverbs alone. Again, by "fearing" God, I am not talking about cowering and recoiling from Him, but rather adjusting the whole way we think about Him and act towards Him in our whole lives. Correct fear of the Lord lays the foundation for every aspect of our relationship with Him, and all people.

When Solomon says that the fear of the Lord is the "beginning," he is not saying that this concept is the first and then we progress from it to other things. Rather, he is is saying that this is the primary foundation. We never move away from the fear of the Lord, as it is needed at every step into wisdom and good judgment in every field of life for all of our days. The fear of the Lord must be woven into the fabric of our character, and affect every-day life and all-day living. Wisdom is a life-long pilgrimage.

We never progress from the fear of the Lord, 
we must continually grow in the fear of the Lord.

The wisdom that God lays out for us is distinct from wisdom found in other cultures and ages because of the personal relationship with the Lord that is required in correctly "fearing the Lord." It is through relationship that we grow in wisdom and understanding - not through the acquiring of human knowledge or skills. Therefore, the greatest wisdom of the universe is available to the simple minded, the poor, the broken and sick, the young and even those who are just beginning their relationship with the Lord.

It is interesting to me that the first time the word "wisdom" is used in the Bible is in Exodus 28:3 and then Ex. 31:3, 6, where the Lord gave artists supernatural wisdom to create the priestly garments and beautiful vessels needed to worship the Lord as He desired. This is the same word that us used in much of the Proverbs.

The Hebrew word for this wisdom is chokmah which is an ethical and spiritual wisdom. It also means "to make one strong and sound in character."

Proverbs, then, will strengthen the Believer in character and spirit; it will energize us in our relationship with the Lord. It is this focus on character and spirit rather than the intellect that makes the wisdom in this book so appealing and accessible. 

This is the choice God gave mankind from the beginning - develop the soul (mind, will, emotions) by eating from the tree of knowledge of good or evil, or develop the spirit through relationship with the Father and through feeding on His wisdom.

Proverbs 3:13-18

Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;
For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies,
and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
Length of days is in her right hand, in her left hand riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.

The Book of Proverbs Part 5 HEREThe Book of Proverbs Part 7 HERE