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Starting with a Good Foundation (Proverbs 1-2)

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

In starting a new year, we may desire to gain wisdom and to live more wisely in the blank slate that is before us. Yet, equally as crucial as the desire for God’s wisdom is having the right basis and foundation for the pursuit. Why and in what manner do we seek the wisdom of God?

So many people run to so many sources and streams of knowledge and wisdom. In every facet of life, from dieting to hobbies to spirituality, there are self-proclaimed “wise informers.” We can choose the streams that best suit our preconceptions, and it is customary in our culture to select and subscribe to the voices we find most agreeable. We grab some from this stream, some from that, and if something contradicts our biases, we pass over it dismissively to find the next “useful” nugget of wisdom.

The book of Proverbs demands a dramatically different basis for seeking wisdom. Simply put, God will have nothing to do with this approach. It may work for hobbies and diets, but the minute we apply it to God, we make our own fallible minds into the authoritative truth source. We make an idol out of our own understanding and dishonor the eternal Word of God as nothing more than a helpful tool we can use however we like. In Proverbs chapters one and two, the language relentlessly suggests an attitude of utter humility, of willing surrender to receive all the wisdom God is about to offer us. In 1:3, Solomon writes that our purpose should be “to receive instruction in wise behavior.” In 2:1, the Holy Spirit says, “receive my words” and “treasure my commands within you.” Likewise, we should search for wisdom “as for hidden treasures” (2:4). When words of correction come, the Lord says, “Turn to my reproof,” and the promise is, “I will pour out My Spirit on you” (1:23). Receive, treasure, turn… Yield completely to the authority and value of God’s wisdom. Let it mold you, change you, and teach you.

This is what the Bible calls the fear of the LORD. Because I know the goodness and glory and power of Him who has spoken, I submit to what He said. No matter how right I feel, if my wisdom differs from His, I am wrong and must adjust accordingly. Who am I to disagree with God? This attitude is a firm foundation on which we build our lives according to His wisdom. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (1:7). Wisdom starts here in this surrender. At the close of chapter two, we read about the adulteress: “For her house sinks down to death” (2:18). Clearly, a house with no foundation will sink down to the ground, and a life with no fear of God will end in ruin.

God has made a sure way for us to live our life as one who fears Him, and it is by following and loving Christ, who is “the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24) and who possesses “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). In our walk with Jesus, let's build on the good foundation, fully embracing all the wisdom of God for our lives.

Pastor Alex

Teaching Pastor

The Rock Church

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