If you are joining us for this study then it is safe to assume that you desire to be a wise person. You want wisdom to be so much a part of you that it pours out of your life by way of your thoughts, words and actions.
I will also assume that if you are human then you fail at this daily. How often have we spoken in anger or impatience or acted like a fool? How often have we neglected to seek godly counsel? And how often have we flat out ignored believing what the Bible tells us to be true? All of this demonstrates a lack of wisdom.
Such failures and folly can lead us to despair, but instead of wallowing in guilt let’s repent and praise Jesus for accepting the wrath of God on our behalf. Let’s stand up, dust ourselves off, and rejoice that today is a new day to walk in righteousness and learn wisdom.
Our focus this week has been on the Source of wisdom, and so we end this week by looking at the end of Proverbs 15.
According to verse 32 a sign of a wise person is that she takes correction well. She knows that it is through correction that she learns and changes and grows.
Give instruction to a wise man,
and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man,
and he will increase in learning.
– Proverbs 9:9
Those who refuse to be corrected, both through Scripture as well as through godly counsel, show themselves to have a prideful heart. But ironically it reveals that they hate themselves (vs.32). They care more about being right in their own eyes, instead of right in the eyes of God. Not loving wisdom, not accepting loving correction (despite the fact that it is painful at times), is a kind of soul abuse.
This is why the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is an awe and respect for God that changes the way we talk and live. Fearing God also produces a deep affection for the Scriptures. What a difference it makes when we realize that we are holding a book containing the wisdom of God written down for us.
A love for the Scriptures not only means we delight in them, but also live in obedience to their precepts. Those who fear God are more in awe of God than of man, they love His ways more than their own ways, and they are willing to suffer for His sake instead of feeling comfortable for their sake.
And in the end isn’t it those who humble themselves to the Word and ways of God, those who fear the Lord, who will be exalted and lifted up (Matt. 23:12)?
Wisdom begins with fearing the Lord which means we must make it our mission to cultivate this in our hearts. It’s not something we muster up, but something that develops by faith as we gain a biblical view of God and ourselves. Read the Word, believe the God revealed within, receive His promises, and obey His commands. Here, the fear of the Lord grows.
Isaiah 11:2-3 sums up the result of this fear quite nicely:
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.
Looking To Jesus,