Bible Reading: Proverbs 1-2

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7)

Take the words of Proverbs 3:21-24, “My son, do not lose sight of these—keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck. Then you will walk on your way securely, and your foot will not stumble. If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” 

The Christian life should be one filled with security, contentment and a firm foundation in the Lord no matter what storms life throws at us. Yet, why do so many of us lack such assurance and stronghold? 

The problem is not our outward circumstances. Rather, it is the state of our hearts. In our sinful nature, our hearts love to crown ourselves as king. We love to control and dictate our lives according to our pleasure and will. We despise submission, and we foolishly believe that our preconceived ideas are always correct and that our ways will always resolve the issue. 

For example, in our insecurity and angst, often we seek comfort and relief in the company of many friends. Yet, the real issue of our insecurity is our neglect of God and personal satisfying relationship with Him. Christian friends are good gifts from God. However, true contentment is only found in the Giver of these gifts. 

In pride, our natural inclination is to reject wisdom and instruction. The writer of Proverbs labels us as “fools”. It is a very foolish thing to boast in our decisions. We are humans who were dead in sin. Our preconceived ideas are tainted with sin and lies we had frequently believed. Do not be so foolish as to believe in yourself. 

God’s will for us is sanctification. He longs to work in us and renew us. Yet, our good God will not force us into obeying Him. He will not enforce change. Instead, in His love, He patiently waits until we repent and learn humility. 

Wisdom can be described as the ability to discern and make godly life choices. It is about choosing and undergoing the best way to live. Wisdom only comes if we have knowledge. We need to know about the right and best way to live in order to live it out. We are so clouded by sin and lies. We need knowledge of the truth. We need knowledge of why God created us and for what purpose. Only then will we live wisely in security, peace and a firm foundation because we will be living how God intended us to live. 

However, how do we get knowledge? How can our lives be changed into the pleasant sanctified lives God wills for us? 

Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “the fear of the Lord”. This fear is not the fear of punishment for sins. This fear is one of awe, reverence and submission to one who is great, dignified and mighty. Fearing God means understanding who God is and what He has done for us and acknowledging His ways above ours. In essence, it is about stepping off the throne of our hearts and letting God be the new king who rules over what we do. It’s about humbling and lowering ourselves to God’s plan and will because we know that what He has in store for us is for our good. 

God longs to change us into people who please Him. His first step is always to give us tender humble hearts that lay down themselves to God’s ways in obedience. Do we long for wisdom and godly lives rooted firm in faith? The first step is a lowly teachable heart that is willing to learn. Ask God what He longs to teach you. Open your heart to His Word and will. Surrender your desires and longings to Him, and He promises work in us. 

“If you seek [wisdom] like sliver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity.” (Proverbs 2:4-7)

Lord, please plant in me the fear of You. Please shape in me a humble and teachable heart. I know that often I reject Your teachings and like to follow my own desires. Please forgive me and change me. Give me a heart that submits to Your will and let me taste Your goodness in it. You are the giver of wisdom. Teach me a life that pleases You. In Jesus’ name, amen.