When I asked my students what wisdom was, they said it was a high IQ. We tend to associate knowledge with wisdom, or the ability to retain knowledge. Wisdom doesn’t have anything to do with intelligence, but the heart. Proverbs tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (1:7).”
To the Hebrews wisdom was integral to the everyday experience. It was a part of their practical discipline of living life successfully. Proverbs eight describes wisdom as an upright, loving, and beautiful woman calling to those passing by. She dwells with prudence, that’s not a name, but the ability to govern or discipline oneself with reason. It is caution and patience. Wisdom dwells with her.
Proverbs eight goes on to compare lady folly as an unruly simple minded woman who sits at the highest point in the city calling to all who will listen. She says that stolen water is sweet, food eaten in secret is delicious. Little do they know the dead live there, her guests are deep in the land of the dead (9:17,18).
Lady wisdom is said to have been with the creator God in the beginning before creation and life was spoken into existence. We know from John 1:1 that the word was with God in the beginning and the word is Jesus. Jesus is the embodiment of wisdom. Solomon requested wisdom from God, for the purpose of leading his people. It was granted to him, a spirit of wisdom, his life was filled with Jesus.
The fear of the Lord is awe of his power over creation and recognizing the all-encompassing power of the Holy One. God is the beginning and end, He is the post powerful being in the universe and capable of all. What is impossible for man is possible with God. Acknowledging His power and majesty is the fear of the Lord. I like how Mark Moore, in his book Core 52 summarizes it, the Hebrews are told to fear two things only, God and nothing.
That same spirit of wisdom is available to us. When we accept Christ, the embodiment of wisdom into our lives, we have access to the source of wisdom. When we devote our lives to God’s Lordship in our lives, we are capable through the power of the Holy Spirit to live in wisdom. It is a spring in our soul that brings life. It overflows from our lives into those around us.
Read Proverbs 8. Lady wisdom calls to us, but we must seek her out. Lady folly calls as well, everyday, she lives with death and all who dwell with her dwell with the dead. In our lives we must choose the life of wisdom or the death of folly.
May you choose wisely.