In yesterday’s post – If Wisdom – we saw and understood that wisdom required certain things from us. A choice was given to us, and we could opt to follow the path of insight or to tread the way of foolishness.
What are the benefits of wisdom though? We posed the question yesterday, if I do this, then what? Our passage today seeks to answer that very point.
Recall that I likened it to a computer program. If… then… If you do A, then B will happen. If we opt for Wisdom, then what is the result?
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
8 for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.Proverbs 2:5-8 (NIV)
The Fear of the Lord
It is hard to get past verse five. It promises something of a “big ticket” item as the first benefit of seeking wisdom’s way. If you choose wisdom, then you will understand the fear of the Lord.
This is no small promise. It all begins and ends with the fear of our Great God. Just so that it is said, “fear” here is not to be afraid, but rather to revere and respect – though those two words seem inadequate somehow.
Many people describe themselves as agnostic, meaning that they are uncertain if there is a God at all. They are not so adamant as atheists, but have questions they are yet to find the answers for. Some people believe in some form of god or higher being, others think there is some kind of universal energy but would hesitate to describe this as a conscious being.
Wisdom reveals the truth to us. There is a God, and He is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Choosing wisdom leads to understanding the fear of the Lord, and to knowledge of Him.
Perhaps the entire point of my series, or rather the entire thrust of the book of Proverbs is this; that wisdom leads to God. We do not seek wisdom for its own ends. We do not pursue it simply to be known as “wise.” While it may bring success in different areas of our lives, that is not the point either.
#Wisdom leads to the knowledge of #God #Bible #Christianity #JesusTweet
If there were no other benefits to the way of wisdom, gaining understanding of the fear of God is more than enough.
The Source of Wisdom
Verse six could not be more clear about the source of wisdom.
For the Lord gives #wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. #Proverbs 2:6 #Bible #ChristianityTweet
Wisdom – true wisdom – comes only from God. He gives it gladly to those who would follow after Him.
From His mouth comes understanding… and what comes from a person’s mouth? Their word of course. God’s Word, which we know as the Bible, is the only place to find wisdom more valuable than gold.
I recall a time as a young man when I spoke to a Christian Union meeting at the nearby university. I waved my Bible at them and almost yelled “Read your Bibles!” I was perhaps a little less subtle in those days! I hope they remembered it though, I know I did! I knew then as I do now that knowing your Bible is the key to success in this life. The Word speaks of Christ, and only by knowing Him can we make this life worth living.
(side note: success does not equate to wealth, fame or a high profile job title… but it does not exclude these either.)
Please, dear reader, study the Scriptures! In them you will find life. They speak of Jesus. They bestow wisdom.
Verses seven and eight switch gears slightly, as the author pauses to reflect on the benefits of knowing the Lord (rather than wisdom itself).
We see that God has stored up success for the righteous, and for those us bathed in the cleansing blood of the Lamb, we take a different view of what righteousness really is. It is not behaving well, but rather being in a position of good standing with God. We are not righteous because we are good, but because He is!
The Lord is a shield, and He guards the path of the just. And He protects the way of the faithful. Such benefits the Lord offers are reminiscent of those that come from wisdom herself. This touches on something I have always pondered about Proverbs. Knowledge of God and knowledge of wisdom appear largely interchangeable.
I will leave you this thought to meditate on. Is knowing wisdom the same as knowing God? Or rather, is knowing God the same as knowing wisdom?
One last thing, as it is in my mind. I do not know all there is to know about Proverbs (or the Bible as a whole for that matter). I hope that what I write is helpful and encouraging. I cannot however answer all questions you are likely to have. There are passages later in Proverbs which I will struggle with, no doubt, and as we reach them I will try to be open and honest with you.
I recall a preacher I respect reading a passage once and asking “What does this mean?” His answer was as follows: “I have no idea!” I may have to hold up my hands and admit the same as some point. And likely, so will you.
Let each of us pray for wisdom, and a deeper knowledge of God and His Word. May the Holy Spirit reveal to us all we need to know, and help us to understand those passages and points we struggle with.
Remember, if you follow the path of wisdom, you will find Jesus.
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