Wisdom is in high demand all the time. We all want it. We all give our best shot at imparting it. And if you listen to people pray, that is one thing we often ask for. We want God to impart to us that wisdom willy nilly, not realizing that having wisdom comes with a great deal of responsibility. Spurgeon once said, “Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise…But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.”
King Solomon stands in a category of his own, “his wisdom exceeded all others” (1Kings 4:29-31). He asked for an “understanding mind” and God granted to him an extra measure, I would say, of discernment and understanding (1 Kings 3:9-12; 2 Chron 1:10-12). His wisdom, inspired by the Holy Spirit, still teaches us today! But sadly, as we know in the end, his heart turned away from God. And his strength essentially became his weakness. In his pride and self-sufficiency he ignored God’s commands and design for marriage (1 Kings 11:1-8). In the book of James, we are reminded how the wise, if they’re wise, ought to walk, “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in meekness of wisdom. “(James 3:13). The wise show humility, meekness, lowliness until the race is finished – and not any sooner. And their wise counsel is revealed in the way they apply it. They walk the talk.
One of the first verses that I ever stopped and contemplated early on in my walk with the Lord was Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” It seemed obvious to me that the “fear of God” would yield knowledge…of God. I understood fear of man, but I had no concept of what this “fear of God” was. So instead of asking for knowledge or wisdom, I began asking for God to give me the proper fear of Him. And since then, I continue to pray consistently for this fear to never leave me; for its companionship protects me from ever assuming that I have “arrived”. Paul, in his letter to the church in Philippi, exhorts the believers there to “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12b)
So you want wisdom? – fear God. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10a). No woman is wise until she fears the Lord. It is foundational, and without it there is no wisdom.
May this “fear of the Lord” restrain us when tempted to sin, and persuade us to love our God and obey Him. For “a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Prov. 31:30b)
Next week, we’ll contemplate what this “fear of the Lord” can look like in your life and mine.