BMS Updates

Verse of the Day (October 24, 2019)

Verse of the Day (October 24, 2019) #BMSeminary – This is the core maxim of the book: the quest for wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord (cf. 9:10 and Ps. 111:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”). “Knowledge” and “wisdom” are closely tied together in Proverbs: “knowledge” tends to focus on correct understanding of the world and oneself as creatures of the magnificent and loving God, while “wisdom” is the acquired skill of applying that knowledge rightly, or “skill in the art of godly living” (Acts 5:5; 9:31; Rom. 3:18; Phil. 2:12–13; 1 Pet. 1:17; 1 John 4:18). The reason that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of both knowledge and wisdom is that the moral life begins with reverence and humility before the Maker and Redeemer. The idea of a quest for knowledge sets biblical wisdom in the broad context of the ancient Near Eastern quest for truth, and this verse also validates such a quest as legitimate and good. Thus it affirms a kind of “creational revelation,” the idea that one can find moral and theological truth through observing the world. At the same time, it distinguishes the biblical pursuit of knowledge and wisdom from those of the surrounding cultures, for it asserts that submission to the Lord is foundational to the attainment of real understanding (cf. Ps. 111:10; Prov. 9:10). By using the covenant name “the Lord” in preference to the more generic “God,” this verse makes the point that truth is found through Israel’s God. (For fearing the Lord in Proverbs as the right response to his covenant, see 1:29; 2:5; 3:7; 8:13; 10:27; 14:2, 26–27; 15:16, 33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; 23:17; 24:21; 31:30; Ps. 19:9.) In addition, the verse asserts that fools despise wisdom and instruction, thus setting up the alternative between the two ways of wisdom and folly. This contrast dominates the entire book, as the way of wisdom, righteousness, and the fear of the Lord is set against the way of folly, evil, and scoffing. (ESV Study Bible)

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