Wisdom Needed Now
Thursday - October 1st
Scripture to Read Today: Proverbs 1:1-33
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Today we begin 31 days in the Book of Proverbs with our Take5 daily devotionals. One of the practices I have gone to many times over the years has been to read a chapter from Proverbs each day. It has always blessed my personal devotional time with the Lord. Since there are thirty-one chapters in the Book of Proverbs, you can read a chapter a day and draw out a key thought for the day. Each chapter offers many practical insights into real-life situations and the wisdom necessary to navigate those situations.
Join me throughout October as we explore the wisdom God has for us in this wonderful Old Testament book. Share the link with your friends on social media or invite others to enjoy the devotionals with you via email or text.
One thing we know in October of 2020 is that we all need a dose of understanding, insight, and wisdom from God. This strange year with all of its twists and turns has left many irritable, frightened, and confused. Generations of family members find themselves bitterly disagreeing over everything from wearing a mask to which presidential candidate represents God's values more. Many who have never experienced anxiety or depression now grapple with the realities of one, or the other, or both. All of the turmoil of our times has left many people adrift, grasping to make the right choices, the wise choices in life. Choices not just about who to vote for, but also how to navigate relationships, work, and health.
God gave King David's royal successor and son, Solomon, an opportunity to request whatever he wished from God. Solomon did not choose wealth, a life of pleasure, or great success. He chose wisdom. God was impressed with the request and made Solomon the wisest man ever to live on planet earth. Unfortunately, wisdom does not always equal morality or humility. His proclivity toward lust and arrogance marred Solomon's life of incredible insight.
In his early years, Solomon pursued all that the world offered. By mid-life, he began to look back and see the missteps he made. He noticed that while he dispensed a lot of wisdom, he failed to exercise it in his own life. Solomon writes the Book of Proverbs at this point in his life, and he seeks to guide his son toward a path far removed from his own failures. He leverages this vast collection of wise and practical sayings to speak into his son's life.
Later in life, during his senior years, Solomon writes the Book of Ecclesiastes. He reviews how empty his life had been. He sees the futility of efforts to pursue pleasures, wealth, and success without a pursuit of God. He looks back and believes he wasted so much on frivolous and meaningless pursuits. He would say that the foundation of his ultimately empty and unsatisfying life was his lack of a solid relationship with God. He forgot God. He left God out.
Solomon knew the importance of God in one's life, intellectually. But, he failed to lean into the relationship he had with the Creator. When he wrote the Book of Proverbs, he knew that true wisdom and understanding come from knowing Who God is and correctly fearing God. He ignored much of what he knew as it applied to his own morality.
In Proverbs 1:7, Solomon recorded and offered to his son this central idea regarding practical life wisdom: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." The key to practical wisdom in life is the fear of the Lord. What is the fear of the Lord? One of my favorite authors, Patrick Morley, answers that question and gives us a good perspective on what a healthy fear of the Lord really is.
"What is the fear of the Lord? Do you understand it? Is it important to you? Many of us have lost the fear of the Lord. We have forgotten our deep awe for the character of God, His holiness, His eternality, His sovereignty over all the affairs of men. We let Him get smaller. We let our impression of ourselves get bigger. We see ourselves as larger in intellect and capabilities, as more technologically advanced and more scientific. As we prosper, we don't need God as we once did.
What is the fear of the Lord? And how can we get it into our lives? The fear of the Lord is to love what God loves and to hate what God hates. The fear of the Lord is both positive and negative."
Do you love what God loves and hate what God hates?
When you have a healthy fear of the Lord, God gives you wisdom for life. He gives wisdom that our world needs right now!