August 3 I Monday
“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight.” —Proverbs 1:1-2
What is wisdom? It is not easy to reduce it to a simple definition. There are a number of words used to describe wisdom: understanding, insight, discretion, shrewdness, knowledge and discipline. They are synonyms of wisdom in Proverbs but they are not exactly the same thing.
Many have proposed different definitions but I am going to offer a personal definition: wisdom is the ability to see things from God’s point of view, to see things from a divine perspective. Why do I suggest that? Because Proverbs 9:10 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Wisdom is only possible when it is born out of a fear of God and a knowledge of God. It is a perspective on life that is God’s perspective. We can never have God’s complete view of life, of course, we do not have minds that are big enough to grasp it all. But we can get small glimpses of a divine perspective on life as we see things as God sees them.
We all see things from our own perspective and our own perspective is conditioned by all kinds of things: personal histories, agendas and environments. We all have different perspectives on things and it is only a fool who regards their own perspective as the only legitimate view. To seek God’s perspective––to seek His mind––is to discover wisdom and it is a very different perspective.
The beginning of wisdom involves the fear of the Lord. We cannot know true wisdom without being brought into a right relationship with God. Wisdom is seeing things from a divine perspective. Seeing things from God’s point of view, which is to see things as they truly are. Wisdom is to understand the part in light of the whole, to understand the time in light of eternity, to be delivered from living simply in the now in light of a bigger perspective.
Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” As we begin to read His Word, we develop a divine perspective as we submit our lives to what He deems right. Thus, when we study the book of Proverbs, we see it is primarily about relationships and responsibilities––developing meaningful relationships and exercising purposeful responsibilities. May we gain a divine perspective when we properly align our relationship in the fear of the Lord and grow in our knowledge of Him and His will for us.
Prayer: Lord God, help my feeble mind to see things from Your perspective and discover Your wisdom. Thank You, Lord, that Your ways are always perfect. Amen!