The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight (Prov. 4:7).
Best quote on wisdom this year: ”Wisdom is the road of faith, lived out rightly. It is applying God’s Word in God’s world.” – Josh Hahne, Pastor, King of Kings PCA.
Proverbs is “Wisdom Literature” in the Bible; it is all about the nature of, and the need for, wisdom. In another Proverb, we see that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7, Prov 9:10, Job 28:28, Ps 111:10). So stay with me here…if “the beginning of wisdom” is “fearing the Lord’, then fearing the Lord brings us to the place where we can apply God’s Word in God’s World. Think about that for a moment. It doesn’t require a seminary degree to get godly wisdom – just fear of the Lord and application of His Word in your life. Jesus said that this is done through the work of the Holy Spirit: But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you (John 14:26).
Wisdom is not something you can buy at Amazon.com – it is revealed in the work of applying the Word to your life. Many times I have encouraged parents to teach their children about God, rather than leaving that important job to someone else (Church, Sunday school, VBS). And many times I have heard them say, “Oh, I can’t teach them about the Bible or God…I am still learning myself.” Ugh! No, no, no. Holy living is perpetual on-the-job-training…we never “get there”. The more you learn, the more you see that you need to learn. So it is God’s will that we live in a constant state of growing and learning, in community with other believers and within the family. Paul prays that God will “equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him” (Hebrews 13:20-21).
God’s way of equipping us, whether in parenting or growing in our own faith, is by hearing His Word and doing it. Sometimes, we feel so inadequate to deal with the ups and downs of life…sometimes we just feel…ill-equipped. Don’t worry, God’s plan covers that: But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it (Deut 30:14). And remember Jesus said,
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock” (Matt 7:24-25).
When we apply God’s Word in God’s world, we learn how right and true it is. Learning by experience is powerful; this kind of learning resonates with us…it really sticks.
We see the word “insight” at the end of the verse. The Hebrew word for insight is “binah”, which is often translated as “understanding” (like in the NASB, this part reads: “whatever you get, get understanding”). After learning more about the Hebrew word “binah”, I think it could also be translated as discernment. Discernment: the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure (Merriam-Webster). So when we apply the Word to our lives, we can begin to grasp/comprehend things that may have been obscure, or hard to comprehend. As we put God’s Word into practice in His world, this experience of obedience pays dividends in understanding and discernment, which leads us into a deeper relationship with God, because we begin to know Him better.
“I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor,
or say to one another, ‘˜Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord (Jer 31:33-34).
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” (Jer 9:23-24).
This is where the rubber meets the road, people. I really want to hear: Where are you seeing God’s Word at work in your world? Which of your experiences is reflecting the Truth we see in the Bible? Or how has the intersection of God’s Word in your world taught you to know Him better?
Britta ~ justAgirl…just like you!