Monday, March 14, 2011

Convo with Pastor - Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 1:7
 
Have I told you about reading through one of my favorite books -- Andy Stanley's, "The Best Question Ever"?
 
He spends the first 20% of the book trying to tell us why he -- of all people -- is qualified to determine what is truly "the best question ever." (I didn't think he made his case very well, but I kept reading.)
 
Then he told us what the best question ever was. He said, before you make a decision, ask, "What is the wise thing to do?" (In fact, he said, look back on all your worst decisions. Wouldn't things have turned out much better if you had asked in advance: What is the wise thing to do?!")
 
With "the best question ever" now defined, the book picked up steam in the second segment. And for the next 75% of the book, Andy Stanley gave some very, very, very wise advice. I loved it. It was practical. But I was missing one thing. This was a church book. It was written by a pastor. Where was God?!!
 
And just about the point I couldn't take it anymore ... almost put it down with only 5% to go ... Andy Stanley landed this faltering plane perfectly. He was writing, in part, to non-Christians. He had been giving wise answers that anyone from most any culture could agree with. But then he settled, finally, on the only answer that could bring hope, saying essentially, "Friends, if you want to be truly wise, then here's what you need to know -- Proverbs 1:7 -- 'The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.'"
 
That's what God-through-Moses told the Israelites too in Numbers 4:
5 "You must obey these laws and regulations when you arrive in the land you are about to enter and occupy. The LORD my God gave them to me and commanded me to pass them on to you.6 If you obey them carefully, you will display your wisdom and intelligence to the surrounding nations. When they hear about these laws, they will exclaim, 'What other nation is as wise and prudent as this!'
 
7 For what great nation has a god as near to them as the LORD our God is near to us whenever we call on him? 8 And what great nation has laws and regulations as fair as this body of laws that I am giving you today?
 
9 "But watch out! Be very careful never to forget what you have seen the LORD do for you. Do not let these things escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.
In Christ's Love,
a wise guy
(not because I am personally wise,
but because I'm seeking to follow
the one who is the source of life)
---------------------------------
Fear is the beginning of wisdom ... not forgetting is also an essential component of wisdom. In v9 above we are cautioned to never forget what we have seen the LORD do for us. What exactly isn't specified ... so we need to remember everything He has done. Wisdom is equal parts fear, reverence and remembering.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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