The Beginning of Wisdom
Proverbs 9:10: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
What arrogance to tell someone that he is a fool! How much more arrogant, if that man is a highly educated, highly qualified scientist, with a string of degrees and doctorates to his name. Such a man might think that he has the right to comment on the existence, or rather the non-existence, of God, and that his intellectual superiority will be sufficient to convince his hearers.
We know of quite a few such scientists – both men and women – who would fit the description just given. And yet the Bible’s definition of foolishness does not place this negative quality in opposition to intelligence. Instead, foolishness is the opposite of wisdom.
Wisdom is demonstrably not the same as intelligence. It is possible – and, I would submit, common – for a highly intelligent scientist to be foolish. The Bible tells us, in Romans 1:20, that God’s invisible attributes have been clearly seen since the creation of the world. That verse goes on to state that those who reject God are, therefore, without excuse.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight”, says the proverb. Notice that the fear of the Lord is not the end of wisdom. There is much still for us to find out, and a wise man will become wiser, as he studies God’s word and finds out more about Him. Notice also that insight is not gained by knowing about the Holy One. Insight and wisdom are gained by knowing God personally. Intelligence is good. Intellectual development is good. But knowing God is of supreme importance.
Prayer: Lord God, I want to know You more and more. Like Solomon, I pray that You will give me wisdom, to carry out all the work that You have chosen for me to do. Amen.
Notes: Romans 1:20, Proverbs 9:10. Image: Adobe Stock Photos, licensed to author.
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