Thursday, March 3, 2011

Where does Wisdom come from?

Oh dear, I apoligize for the lack of proof-reading today.  Allergies and busy life have slowed me down a bit. 

Where does wisdom come from?  I can teach knowledge to my daughters.  I can encourage discernment with discussions and opportunities.  Where can I get wisdom so that I can pass it on to my daughters? 
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction,” (Proverbs 1:7).
“…then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding,” (Proverbs 2:5,6).
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight,” (Proverbs 3:5,6).
Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with rebellious officials…” (Proverbs 24:21)

I recently heard that “the Fear of the LORD” is mentioned twenty times in the book of Proverbs alone.  Repetition is a crucial part of learning something important.  The Bible makes it abundantly clear that wisdom comes from God.  I can not study enough to get it.  I can not absorb it by hanging around the right people.  I have to receive wisdom from God or it is simply my own understanding.  I can read the Bible, take a scripture reference, and apply it to a situation; however, that alone is not wisdom.  The Bible is misused all the time by those who hate it, who misunderstand it, or who seek to discredit it.  So simply reading the Bible will not make you wise anymore than going to church on Sundays makes you a Christian (I really prefer the term “believer”).  I studied all kinds of books in college.  I had to take them apart and interpret their subliminal messages.  As an English Major, I became pretty good at making a text say just about anything I wanted it to.  You don’t even want to know what one of my professors tried to convince a class about any mention of bells in Charles Dickens’s novels.  Wisdom doesn’t come from me.  Wisdom doesn’t come from reading the Bible.  Wisdom comes with the Fear of the LORD. 

What does it mean to fear the Lord?  I don’t think it means I should cower in a corner while I wait for God to smite me for my sins.  I don’t even think it means I should live in fear of fire and brimstone, because I have seen the difference it makes when my children obey me out of fear and when they obey out of respect.  Fear can make a person act a certain way, but respect includes a heartfelt trust that fear is lacking.  I believe that I should respect God for all His qualities; omniscience, omnipotence, and unconditional love for all.  If I show respect to God for these qualities then I will live with a humble affection for God’s will because I know He only wants what is best for me.  My respect, or Fear of the LORD, will be apparent in my integrity and in the choices I make. 
A pastor at our church recently did an excellent sermon on “The Healthiest Fear” if you would like to hear more on this topic. 
I can not expect to pass wisdom on to my daughters unless I can find it myself.  I can not find wisdom unless I recognize where it comes from.  The world would have us and our daughters believe that wisdom comes from many places, and that it is subjective to the individual.  We know better.  How have you lived your life this week in such a way as to model a Fear of the LORD?  Start with the smaller daily stuff; I bet there are more examples than you realize.  Were you mindful of God’s priorities when you: set your weekly schedule; planned out what to make for dinner; picked out new clothes for your daughters; did something outside your comfort zone that you knew God would be proud of?

“By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding he set the heavens in place; by his knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew,” (Proverbs 3:19,20).


  1. In the past, I used to run after knowledge to bring me closer to God. I was the one who always had the "right answer" in Sunday School class as a child or as an adult in Bible Study. I am now learning that that only leads to self-righteousness and away from God. Through the experiences God has allowed in my life, I am finally learning what is means to be "wise" as I am applying all that knowledge in a real way every day. In my life, wisdom comes from perspective and experiencing God's grace and mercy daily. Thanks for your "wisdom" on this topic, Tamara!

  2. I have talked to many adults who would agree with you, JP. When we are young we think that wisdom is as simple as accumulating knowledge. It isn’t until we are actually older and wiser that we finally see how wisdom comes through experiences too (respecting our elders has definitely fallen out of fashion). When we can admit that maybe God’s plan and timing is better than our own, we see how much grace and mercy we require from Him. Having a humble heart is a big step in gaining wisdom.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your experiences with us here!