Growing up my Grandma Pearl used a notepad that had a verse from Proverbs written on it. It was always there at the bottom of the page, living in my subconscious. My grandmother, my mom's mom, is one of the most influential people in my life. And there is a reason why. She loves the word of God. Throughout my childhood I remember her sharing scripture with us either by writing us a note or by pulling us aside and sharing, with much excitement in her voice, what God was speaking to her through His word. When I was reading through Proverbs 1 this week, the verse at the bottom of Grandma Pearl's stationary made an appearance.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7
Solomon and his quest for wisdom has always fascinated me. In many ways all of us are searching for wisdom. We want to find the pearl of great price. This verse in Proverbs made me pause and think, what does the fear of the Lord mean? Reading further it is clear that both knowledge and wisdom hinge on the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord not only produces knowledge but wisdom as well:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." Proverbs 9:10
Wisdom and knowledge are not mutually exclusive. They are acquired only when God begins to reveal to us His holiness and vast scope of power. When we see His holiness our first response should be to tremble with righteous fear. Solomon talks much about wisdom in Proverbs; and Job also talks about wisdom in the book of Job, chapter 28. In fact this entire chapter is spent asking the question: where is wisdom? This chapter fascinates me because I desire wisdom, and I long to know what is true!
“From where, then, does wisdom come? And where is the place of understanding? It is hidden from the eyes of all living and concealed from the birds of the air. Abaddon and Death say, ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’ Job 28:20-22
Not even, Abaddon, the angel of the bottomless pit knows wisdom, it is but a "rumor."
“God understands the way to it, and he knows its place. For he looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. When he gave to the wind its weight and apportioned the waters by measure, when he made a decree for the rain and a way for the lightning of the thunder, then he saw it and declared it; he established it, and searched it out. And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:23-28
This passage adds context and understanding to God's holiness and sovereignty. It gives me reason to "fear" who He is. This knowledge of a pure and holy God is what ultimately leads to true wisdom. This knowledge is offered freely to all humanity in the gospel. It is a treasure. A pearl of great price!
Thank you Grandma Pearl for reminding me of this!