“Fools despise wisdom”
We started reading Proverbs today – it expresses many blunt contrasts – there is a right way of living and a wrong way – and no middle way. We will find comparisons with the parables of Jesus we are reading in Luke, some of which are developed from the proverbs of Solomon.
Verse 7 jumps out to demand our attention.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
In this context “fear” means “awe” – the awe of what God must be! Can we try to open up our minds wide enough to visualize the Creator? No, this is impossible! The time is coming, as David visualized and expressed twice in Psalm 8,
“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth” (verses 1,9).
If we “despise wisdom” and are blind to the “instruction” that God’s word contains, we will not be there in the day God’s “name” is “majestic … in all the earth”.
Those who read and truly absorb God’s word now possess “the beginning … of wisdom”. Solomon tells us that
“Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates …” (verses 20,21)
– and so it did in Solomon’s all-wise reign. Human cleverness and self-centredness has deadened the sound of true wisdom. To really “see” the meaning of life – we have to see it as God sees it! Let us apply our minds to wise thinking and actions in every situation. The source of wise thinking begins by absorbing God’s word and making it part of the way we think.
In verse 23 we read,
“If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you”.
How wonderful! It gives real purpose to our lives; for
“the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtains guidance …” (verse 5).
Let us make sure we seek this every day: a failure to do so will mean, as we read in verse 27-29,
“when terror strikes you like a storm … when distress and anguish come … Then they will call upon me, but”, says God, “I will not answer … Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD”.
Only “fools despise wisdom” and fail to seek a relationship with their Creator – and His Son, instead, seeking, as we read the words of Jesus in Luke 16 today try to “serve two masters” but
“You cannot serve God and money” (verse 13).
And, as that chapter concludes,
“… neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from dead”.
Let us be convinced – and act of on our convictions – and experience true “wisdom”.