“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” Proverbs 1:7a NIV
So fearing God is the way to wisdom. Now that does not mean shaking-in-your-boots fear. Although we should have gigantic trepidation at the thought of encountering God’s wrath, righteous fear means love, respect, praise, worship, and devotion to the one and only God of Creation. Kenneth Boa has an excellent description of the biblical meaning of wisdom. “Wisdom is skill in the art of living life with each area under the dominion of God. It is the ability to use the best means at the best time to accomplish the best means.”
King David, a man with a heart for God, prayed for God to bless him with fear for Almighty God. Many of the chapters in Psalms are David’s prayers. They are full of worshipful adoration, petition for relief from bad situations, and pleading to be pleasing to God.
“Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” Psalm 86:11 NIV
David is known as the man with a heart for God. I sometimes wonder what people say about me? Do they say I have a heart for God? God has a rebuke for anyone who negatively answers this question.
“How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?... Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;” Proverbs 1:22, 29-32 NIV
In the New Testament, Jesus demonstrated how to seek God and how to live out God’s commands in the first four chapters. The apostles in much of the rest of the New Testament devote their writing to teaching us how to gain knowledge and live righteous lives. In the Book of James, the characteristics of wisdom are listed.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom… But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:13, 17 NIV
So having wisdom is more than having much knowledge. It is living life with God at the center. It is doing things his way—using God’s means, at God’s time, in God’s way.
Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, teach me to live life as you desire. Make me wise.