The Proverbs were written to help all people avoid the common pitfalls of life and find the path to prosperity, health and security through the passing down of wisdom from generation to generation.
proverbs 1:7 teaches us that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. And the word for 'fear' being used here conveys a positive quality as it means to respect, to revere, to be in awe of God. On the other hand, our sin causes us to become fools, for we have turned our backs on Him, and said "I am God, I am in control, I am wise". In our foolishness, we tell God that we don't need Him in our lives because we think we know what's best for us.
And yet, because of His great love for us, God sent Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our foolishness and our sin. In 1 Corinthians 1:18 it says, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." In our own humanly wisdom, the cross is foolishness because we believe we can save ourselves. In our humanly wisdom, we believe that we can rely on our own strength. and that we don't need God. But it is God who saves us, and it is God who gives us true wisdom.
True wisdom is knowing that we are powerless, knowing that we are nothing without God, and knowing that it is only God who can save us from our foolishness and our sin. Ultimately, true wisdom is knowing that God is God and we are not. And true wisdom will lead us to want to obey and worship God. It won't feel like a burden or a duty, because true wisdom will tell us that is a joy to worship God.
And part of living wisely is to listen to our parents' instruction and teaching, because wise instruction and teaching is like fine and beautiful jewellery (Proverbs 1:8-9). The family is the place where the next generation is born and where the next generation learns how to live. And here in our church family, in the family of God, we have all been called to listen to the wise instruction and teachings of generations before, and to wisely instruct and teach the generations after us.
Above all, remember that true wisdom comes from the fear of the Lord. To live wisely is to honour God, to revere God, to love God. And we can do that by knowing and listening to the scriptures - God's very own awe-inspiring words!
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