The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility. Proverbs 15:33
There are few people who do not want to be wise. The rub comes when they learn how to become wise. There is even a higher cost when you learn the method by which God will bring us to the point where we become wise.
The first thing we need to grasp is that wisdom comes from God. If men, in their experience of life, manifest wisdom - it is only because they have stumbled across it over the course of their lives. Even a blind squirrel will find a few nuts as he wanders underneath the trees. Wisdom is defined best as seeing things as God sees them. Therefore if we are going to become wise - we will have to respect God and what He has to say. That is the crux of what Solomon is saying here when he states that the fear of Jehovah is the instruction for wisdom. If we do not respect and reverence God - we are fools. If we do not honor Him and give Him the honor which He deserves, we will not be wise in the end.
We note here that the fear of Jehovah is the "instruction" for wisdom. The word for instruction here is the Hebrew word "musar" which means to instruct with discipline. This means far more than just learning something in our heads. This involves both mental instruction of the head - and discipline to make sure that what goes into our heads is then applied and carried out in our lives. This often involves some correction, pain, and difficulty as we have to learn to value God's perspective more than our own. This is the process of wisdom - and depending on how stubborn or prideful we are in holding to our particular perspective - how painful and hard it will be to become wise.
The last part of this proverb lets us know the one overarching principle that will apply throughout this entire process. "Before honor comes humility." Humans (at least fallen ones - and that means all of us) want the honor now. They want honor immediately. If we want the honor of other men and the world that may be possible. If we want the honor that comes from God and that is lasting - we will have to take a different path. Honor from God requires humility first. It is the humility that is willing to empty ourselves and lay our own will and ego down. This is what Christ Jesus did according to Philippians 2, and God requires nothing less of us. Oh how hard the human will goes down. But in order to be wise - and to receive honor from God - that is what we will have to do. But such wisdom and such honor is better than anyting billion things the world can offer us in the way of its trinkets and trash.
Want to be wise? Want lasting, eternal honor? Then wisdom is what you want. You will haae to first admit you don't have any - and then turn to the only One Who can give it to you. You will need to see your view of God raised infinitely higher - where you find His wisdom and guidance impeccable in every way. You will need to embrace His thoughts and working in your mind even in the most difficult times when honestly, it does not make sense. You will need to lay your own thoughts in the dust - until you learn that they are in agreement with His - then praise Him for enlighening your mind to have such thoughts. This is the way of wisdom - which is also the way of humility. But I can promise you by the Word of the Lord that this is also the way of true happiness, true contentment, and a true reward that will last infinitely beyond any trophy, any medal, any certificate, or any human reward that will fade and fade away with time.
Proverb a Day
Each day, we'll take a look at a verse from the chapter of Proverbs for the day. Our hope is to gain wisdom each day - and from that wisdom - to have understanding to make godly decisions in the throes of everyday life.
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