Tim Keller | October 10, 2004
Wisdom is more than being moral and good. Wisdom is knowing something about how the world works so that you’ll know what the right thing to do is in the majority of life situations in which the moral rules don’t apply.
The book of Proverbs is one of the best places in the Bible to look at the topic of wisdom. There is a theme that runs all through Proverbs and, in fact, all through the whole Bible. That is, the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Today we’re going to consider that the fear of the Lord begins with 1) knowing God, 2) trusting God, and 3) discovering the grace of God.
Wisdom is more than just being good; it’s about making smart choices when there aren’t clear rules to follow. Understanding this kind of wisdom starts with fearing the Lord, which means recognizing God, trusting Him, and experiencing His love. This is important for using wisdom in our everyday lives.
1. Starting with God
Proverbs tells us that wisdom starts with fearing the Lord, which means our view of the world is shaped by our relationship with God. Some people try to separate faith and reason, but our faith actually forms the foundation of what we know and believe. A strong relationship with God is essential because it guides our decisions and actions. The fear of the Lord is the first step towards true wisdom.
2. Getting to Know God
Feeling awe and wonder towards God, rather than being scared of Him, is a humbling experience that helps us understand and care for others. Our biggest fears often show what we value most – like being important, feeling safe, and finding our identity. When our identity is based on God, we move from just knowing about Him to actually experiencing His love and beauty, which then become more important than worldly worries.
3. Trusting God
Trusting God unconditionally, or fearing the Lord, means following Him no matter what’s happening in our lives or how well we understand His plans. This deep respect acknowledges that God knows more than we do, leading to complete trust. It’s not just a theory, but a life-changing experience that comes from personally knowing and experiencing how great God is.
4. Experiencing God’s Grace
The main message of the Christian gospel, as seen in Proverbs, is the amazing truth that even though we are separated from God because of our sins, His total love and holiness offer us grace. This balance of love and holiness creates awe and wonder, leading to a transformative understanding of something bigger than us. Jesus Christ, who trusted God completely and gave His life for us, invites us to follow Him. He promises that having a respectful fear of the Lord removes all other fears and is the start of wisdom.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer