The Beginning of Wisdom
Bible Facts Newspaper Article (Ian C. Kurylyk)
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). This was written by the wisest man that ever lived, King Solomon. He taught us that the most important thing for a man is not money, or fun, or an easy life on earth, but the possession of true wisdom. “She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her” (Proverbs 3:15-18).
To Solomon, searching out wisdom and understanding was the highest pursuit and the way of life. “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7). Wisdom gathers in all the facts, considers the laws governing all things, and acts to secure the greatest and most enduring good. This can be illustrated in house building. The builder must use the building material at his disposal to fashion a home that will be of good use to the owner and also be able structurally to withstand the storms and stresses that will surely come. It would be unwise to fail to consider the possibility of a hurricane and it would not be the same blessing to the owner if he had to sit through every heavy wind worrying if it might all come down around him.
The whole of human life looks for good far beyond those things offered by an earthly house. Wisdom is even more important here to insure a true and lasting good. It can only be good in the fullest sense if eternity itself is secure. The wise man considers this present life and the life in the world to come, making choices that bring blessings from God in both. God’s blessing is the true good. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22). Great wisdom indeed is needed in view of such a sublime goal.
The natural wisdom of humanity is simply insufficient, as a glance at today’s world quickly convinces us. There is one fatal flaw in the human race, alienation from God and His infinite wisdom, which has been brought on by sin. Sinning is by its nature the way of the fool, in that it is self destructive, bringing the greatest evil (which is death). Good that is deep and lasting cannot come to those who embrace sin. The rebellion of the sinner assures him the curse of God no matter how good things may look in the short term. This is very sad.
God identifies the way of the fool in some surprising places. “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22). Apparently some of the greatest centers of pretended learning are found in God’s eyes as a collection of fools. Often atheism is promoted on the supposed superior intellect of the “thinking man”. This is not how God sees it. “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God” (Psalms 14:1a). I don’t know how anyone could fail to see the significance of this toward the theory of evolution.
As there is a root problem behind the failure of man’s wisdom, there is also a simple basis for the realization of true wisdom in a life. The Psalmest taught the same principle as Solomon. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever” (Psalm 110:11). Repenting of sin and getting right with God is the root of the truest wisdom. This brings a man to God’s blessing on this earth and the blessing of heaven too. Of course we can only be right with God through the salvation which is in Jesus Christ. He came to the world to provide a way of salvation only God could devise. He is Jesus Christ the Saviour, “the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (I Corinthians 1:24c).