“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.  11 For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.  12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.” (Proverbs 9:10—12)

The writer of Proverbs illuminates that the FEAR OF THE LORD is the gateway to three transformative treasures: WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE, and UNDERSTANDING. These are not self-generated but gifts from the Holy One. This profound insight should deepen our reverence and inspire us to seek these gifts earnestly. The writer’s call to action to seek these gifts should motivate and empower us in our spiritual journey.

         While wisdom and knowledge are related, they are not synonymous. Biblical wisdom is the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, and good. Crucially, this wisdom flows out of my relationship with God. Wisdom starts with the reverence and fear that I must always have in my relationship with God. This relationship guides and supports me in my pursuit of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

         While knowledge is information gained through experience and reasoning.  Knowledge, therefore, can exist without wisdom.  One can be knowledgeable but not necessarily wise.   I have learned that knowledge is knowing how to use or do something, but wisdom knows when to use it or do something or not. 

         The writer of Proverbs also mentioned understanding. When I know something, I want to do, my first action is to bring it to God so I can have the wisdom to know whether it is something for me to do or not.  When I understand God’s directions, I gain the understanding necessary to act upon what the Lord has shown me or feels led to do. 

         The Bible says that if someone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who will gladly give it to him. There are two kinds of wisdom: worldly wisdom, rooted in demonic and humanistic reasoning and influences, and godly wisdom, rooted in God.  Through wisdom that starts in the fear of the Lord, a person’s days will be many, years will be added to his life, and if the person is wise, their wisdom will reward them. 

         Here, the writer of this Proverbs also mentioned another kind of person.  He is a mocker.  A mocker is a person who mocks something or someone.  He scoffs at godly wisdom.  This kind of person does not think much about godly wisdom nor acknowledge God in his life.  The result of his life is that his days will be few, his years will be few, and his reward will be suffering. 


         I know in my own life, I need wisdom.  But I must first learn what it is to fear the Lord.  Do I fear the Lord as I should?  That is what I want to do in my life first.  I want to live my life in the fear of the Lord.  I want to be obedient to do the things he asked me to do even if I don’t understand.  I want to do the difficult things he asked me to do because that is what is important to him.  Today, I am reminded that wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are gifts from God for his child, who lives in reverence, fear, and obedience to him.  This is what I desire to be. 


         Jesus, help me to be a child of yours who desires to live in reverence and fear of you by obeying your word.  I surrender to you my life to live in the fear of you.  Help me to lean on you and to press in when times are challenges.  Please help me to always acknowledge you in all that I do.  I look to you today, Amen!