Journey in the Word

Karen Ingrid Clark

Walking In Wisdom – The Source of Wisdom

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Week One – Day 1 – Monday, January 16, 2017  wk01d01

Read Proverbs 1: 1 – 7    SOAP Proverbs 1:7-

PROVERBS 1:1-7 1 The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, 3 to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; 4 to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— 5 Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, 6 to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

S – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.   (Proverbs 1:7)

O –  I spent quite a bit of time in this passage today – looking up the meaning of some of the words from Proverbs 1: 1 – 7.  I have read this many times before, but wanted to actually look up the Hebrew words and the nuances of meaning…..

First of all, there seems to be five reasons for this book, as seen in verses 2 – 6.  All of them start with the word “to”

  1. To know wisdom and instruction
  2. To understand words of insight
  3. To receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity
  4. To give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth
  5. To understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles

Some of these words give great meaning – my summaries from  multiple readings from preceptaustin, which gave the Hebrew words and meanings, as seen in Strong’s Concordance.

  • To Know (yadah) – not simply to have knowledge of wisdom in the sense of having information about wisdom, but an intimate relationship, as in the marriage relationship. Therefore, to KNOW God is not just to know about Him, but to be in a right relationship with Him.
  • Wisdom (chokmah) – to be wise – the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding. The ability to see something from God’s viewpoint = “God’s character in the many practical affairs of life.”
  • Instruction (musar) – figuratively to chasten with words, to instruct, rebuke – to provide instruction with the intent of forming proper habits of behavior
  • Understand or discern (bin/biyn) – to understand or perceive, to discriminate – making a good distinction between, such as between good and evil
  • Understanding (binah) 1. understanding , insight, discernment, i.e., a good sense or wisdom to respond properly to the LORD and his Torah (2) understand, i.e., to be given a revelation as well as its meaning; (3) understand, i.e., skillfully react to life situations.”
  • Prudence (ormah) – derived from arom – to be shrewd or crafty.. It speaks of good judgment or good sense – it’s negative counterpart is the craftiness of the devil.
  • Simple – naïve (pethi) – pertaining to persons that are easily deceived or persuaded, showing lack of wisdom and understanding, yet having some capacity to change this condition.
  • Discretion – (mezimmah) – purpose, discretion, devise. The ability to make proper decisions
  • Hear (shama) – The most famous use of this word is to introduce the Shema, “Hear, O, Israel,” followed by the content of what the Israelites are to understand about the Lord their God and how they are to respond to Him ( 6:4) Inherent in the call to hear is the idea of paying attention to what is spoken (cp “Heed” Pr 8:33) and also obeying what is heard, so that what is heard is not as they say “In one ear and out the other.”
  • Learning – can mean teaching or learning which is “grasping” with the mind. It refers to persuasive words, words that hold power to change one’s behavior. Laqahembraces “comprehension of truth well enough to teach it.”
  • Acquire (ganah) means to get, to buy, to purchase, to acquire, to possess. It describes buying, acquiring various things and is used of acquiring wisdom, and in this passage acquiring  wise counsel.
  • Wise counsel (tachbulah) may originally have referred to the steering of a ship and in all of the OT uses refers to discernment to “steer a right course” (through life). Tachbulah means accurate guidance. Ryrie – “Literally, steerings; i.e., the discernment to steer a right course through life.”


Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

  • Fear (yirah from verb Yare – to fear) can describe dead, being terrified, or having reverence. Yirah usually refers to the fear of God in a positive sense.  NET note – With the LORD as the object, it captures the polar opposites of shrinking back in fear and drawing close in awe and adoration.
  • Beginning (reshith) – can mean – (1) The beginning or the first step in a course of,  or (2) The chief thing as the principal aspect or component of something. The Amplified Bible combines these two in Pr 1:7 paraphrasing beginning as “its starting point and its essence.”
  • Knowledge – (daatderived from yada = to know, speaking in many contexts of an intimate knowledge) expresses knowledge gained in various ways by the senses (and is the opposite of folly). It describes “experiential active knowing.” In other words this knowledge is not just a bookish collection of information but is experiential knowledge of the Living God. Knowledge of His written Word cannot be separated from personal knowledge of God. To know God is to live in harmony with His will, and to live in harmony with His will we must know His word.
  • ESV Study Bible– 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”
  • Fool –  (‘evil) refers to a person characterized by moral folly. The uses in Proverbs give us a “descriptive definition” (see verses below to compile your own “definition”) of a Biblical fool = lacks understanding (Pr 10:21), does not store up knowledge (Pr 10:14), fails to attain wisdom (Pr 24:7), refuses correction (Pr 15:527:22), is arrogant (Pr 26:5), speaks loosely (Pr 14:3) is contentious (Pr 20:3). A fool is easily deceived and spiritually flawed! A fool may possess mental capability but they manifest morally ineptitude!
  • Despise – (buz) means to scorn, to deride, to express contempt for someone or something, to treat as insignificant. The Septuagint translates buz with the verb exoutheneo, a strong verb which means to despise someone or something on basis that it is (seemingly) worthless or of no value. It means to treat as of no account (disdain, despise, disregard. To despise is not simply to ignore God’s Truth but totally devalue it!
  • What is the fear of the Lord? It is not cringing terror. It is respecting God for who he is. It is understanding that God is God and you are not. The fear of the Lord is to bow the knee before Almighty God and acknowledge that he made the world and that it runs according to his plan. Respect for God is where knowledge begins, it is where knowledge continues, and it is where all knowledge ends up.

A – What do I do with all this??

First of all, it seems that the whole point of Proverbs is to change mindset and behavior.  It is not enough to have knowledge – stuff in your head.  It is the “stuff in your heart” that guides you.  So, an intimate relationship with God, KNOWING Him, is the start.  Being willing to listen and obey is next.  And to realize that knowing God’s word is part of knowing His heart.  It is realizing that, in myself, I don’t have the ability to live life the way that God intended, without that relationship with Him.  It is being teachable – and changing my mindset and behavior to line up with His Word, His character, His commands.  It is SEEKING Him, His ways, Himself.  I need that “acquired skill” of applying what I know to how I live.  Hmmm…  skilled in the art of godly living.  I like that.  It takes practice.  It takes discipline.  It takes time to KNOW Him.

P – Father God, as I approach this beginning, this new study, I pray that You will speak to me.  Help me to apply what I learn to how I live.  Father, I want to know You.  I want to live in obedience.  Work in my heart today, to bring my mindset and behavior to the place where it lines up with Your Word, and what You want for me.  I don’t want to life the life of a fool.  I want to be a woman of wisdom, of Your wisdom.  May I love Your Word, love You, and life for You today.

The Perfect Wisdom of Our God – (Getty) –

“The perfect wisdom of our God,
Revealed in all the universe:
All things created by His hand,
And held together at His command.
He knows the mysteries of the seas,
The secrets of the stars are His;
He guides the planets on their way,
And turns the earth through another day.

The matchless wisdom of His ways,
That mark the path of righteousness;
His word a lamp unto my feet,
His Spirit teaching and guiding me.
And oh, the mystery of the cross,
That God should suffer for the lost
So that the fool might shame the wise,
And all the glory might go to Christ!

Oh grant me wisdom from above,
To pray for peace and cling to love,
And teach me humbly to receive
The sun and rain of Your sovereignty.
Each strand of sorrow has a place
Within this tapestry of grace;
So through the trials I choose to say:
“Your perfect will in your perfect way.”


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