The proverbs of Solomon, David’s son who was king of Israel,
to grasp wisdom and discipline, to understand deep thoughts,
to acquire the discipline of wise behavior— righteousness and justice and fairness—
to give insight to gullible people, to give knowledge and foresight to the young—
a wise person will listen and continue to learn, and an understanding person will gain direction—
to understand a proverb and a clever saying, the words of wise people and their riddles.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
Stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline.
(Proverbs 1:1-7 GW) [Context—Proverbs 1]
Words convey meaning while terms have a more precise definition. Words have their own definitions but how they are used or expressed gives them a more distinct meaning.
The word blue brings to mind the color of the sky or a deep ocean. But a blue mood or experiencing the blues describes a person’s mood—their emotional feelings.
Terms and terminology are often used to categorize something specific to a field of study or group of people. Terms can be technical and precise or an idiomatic expression or slang.
In the book of Proverbs, several words and phrases occur, often in a figurative sense. One example is the word fool—a proverbial term for someone who is morally weak or bankrupt. A person could be intelligent yet morally weak and so in the proverbial sense—a fool.
Wisdom is often personified as a righteous woman who may be contrasted with an adulteress—someone who personifies the seductive nature of foolishness. In Proverbs, righteousness and wisdom are more a matter of character and behavior than intelligence or status.
Proverbs is a source of practical wisdom for every person who pursues it. These first seven verses serve as an introduction to the book of Proverbs, expressing the value and purpose of all the proverbs.
The key to the book and summary of this introduction is verse 7—
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline.
A fool doesn’t fear the Lord and considers wisdom and moral discipline as worthless pursuits. The wise person values wisdom and discipline and understands this begins with a respectful awe and reverence for God.
What is a specific element of wisdom you’d like to have? How would this benefit you in your daily life? What do you see as a first step for gaining this wisdom and when will you start pursuing this?
Ask God daily to give you insight for living a godly life, according to how you answer the questions above.