THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM
Date: July 3
Category: Wisdom and Understanding
"The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom and skill [the preceding and the first essential, the prerequisite and the alphabet]; a good understanding, wisdom, and meaning have all those who do [the will of the Lord]. Their praise of Him ensures forever."
In the Bible, there are different genres of literature. Some of the books are historical books, which are written in a narrative style and record all the historical happenings. Some are prophetical books, like the ones written by the four Major Prophets and the 12 Minor Prophets. Some are poetic books, like the Psalms and the Songs of Solomon. Even throughout the prophetic books you will find sections that are written in a poetic manner.
Of the poetic books, some of them are wisdom literature. The Psalms, the Proverbs, the book of Ecclesiastes, the Songs of Solomon, and Job are the so-called wisdom literatures of the Bible. These wisdom literatures are to impart wisdom into the readers who read them. But if we, as readers, are to embark on gaining wisdom, we have to first read this verse in Psalm 111:10.
It says there, "The reverent fear and worship of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom." The beginning of all wisdom is the fear and worship of the Lord. This verse sounds very familiar to the one found in Proverbs 1:7, which says, "The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline." The most important aspect of gaining wisdom is the reverent fear and worship of the Lord. There is no way you and I can gain godly wisdom unless we have those two things in our hearts.
Reverently fearing God really means loving, respecting and honoring Him. Although this does mean not doing the things that are displeasing to God because of fear of punishment, it also means doing the things that God wants you to do because God will reward you. So reverent fear and worship of the Lord are the first two elements that we must have if we are to embark on gaining wisdom.
But keep in mind that those two things are just the gateway to wisdom. Once we gain wisdom, we need to grow in it. Even Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, needed to grow in wisdom. In Luke 2:52 we read, "And Jesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding) and in stature and years, and in favor with God and man." So if Jesus, the Son of God, had to grow in wisdom, then the same thing has to be true in our own lives as well. But there is something else that we need to do in order to grow in that wisdom now.
Verse 10b says, "…a good understanding, wisdom, and meaning have all those who do [the will of the Lord]." By doing what God wants to be done in our lives, we will have good understanding, wisdom and meaning. So obedience to God's will is what causes you to grow in wisdom. Looking at the example of Jesus, we can read in Luke 2:51, "And He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was [habitually] obedient to them; and his mother kept and closely and persistently guarded all these things in her heart." Just as Jesus had to obey the Lord, God the Father, and stay at the temple of God in order to grow in wisdom, we have to obey God as well.
Reverent fear and worship of the Lord and obedience to God's Word are the key elements to receiving wisdom and then growing in it. And those actions work together. Reverent fear and worship of the Lord will lead you to obedience to Him. If you don't fear God, then you won't obey His Word. But if you truly fear God, then you will worship Him, and you worship Him through your obedience to His Word. That's why it's important to read the Word of God. Our faith and our wisdom cannot grow beyond what we know of God's Word.
Then the last part of verse 10 says, "Their praise of Him endures forever." The praises of those who have reverent fear and worship of God and who are doing the will of God will endure forever. In other words, God will receive those praises because they will last forever. And if your praises will last forever, then you know that you will last forever as well. So today let's remember the two important things we need to enter the gateway of wisdom: reverent fear of the Lord and worship for Him. Then let's obey His Word in order to grow in that wisdom and praise God with an everlasting praise!