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Sunday: The Beginning of Wisdom — 14 Comments

  1. This lesson says, "'Wisdom' here is defined as a religious experience." I do think wisdom is a gift of God (1 Cor 12:8) but I don't think we can confine its use to religion any more than we can the gift of healing.

    Solomon who asked for and was given more wisdom than anyone used it in a wide variety of ways and under many different circumstances including nonreligious ones.

  2. "The fear of the Lord has nothing to do with the superstitious and childish fear of divine punishment." True but those people at Mount Sinai were scared! It wasn't merely a calm respectful posture, it was outright fear.

    As I have said before fear has a positive side to it in keeping us from doing dumb things like taking unnecessary risky chances with our lives. As Christ said, "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matt. 10:28 NKJV; in both cases the Greek word "phobeo" is used).

  3. My contribution to the lesson on Sun "the beginning of wisdom" is based on Prov 1:7 and quoting EGW Min of Healing page 430-8

    "Shall not His excellency make you afraid?

    As we learn more and more of what God is, and of what we ourselves are in His sight, we shall fear and tremble before Him.

    Let men of today take warning from the fate of those who in ancient times presumed to make free with that which God had declared sacred.

    When the Israelites ventured to open the ark on its return from the land of the Philistines, their irreverent daring was signally punished.

    At the burning bush, when Moses, not recognizing God’s presence, turned aside to behold the wonderful sight, the command was given:

    “Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.... And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” Exodus 3:5, 6." End of quote.

    It's the greatness of God that must give us fear/ reverence which is based on our knowing Him thru His word.

    We can only know Him and His greatness thru His works. And thru His works, we will also know His love for us that He created us and redeemed us. Toward Him, based on this knowledge, will be our response of loving Him back. So we will rever Him and worship Him in love, recognising His capabilities against our incapabilities.

    The part in EGW quote that says this fear includes acknowledging things He's pronounced sacred and our not profaning them and the punishment that would result.

    Reminds me of the respect and avoidance to profane or make mistakes in the palaces of our earthly chiefs for fear of punishment that would result. I personally experienced this "fear" when I visited a palace of a chief last year. Yet we love them knowing they are there to care for our interests.

    So for me, and like Tyler puts it, yes there is an aspect of real "fear", recognising His greatness and goodness but also His capability to destroy or control over all creation.

    Now, it's such "fear" He says is the beginning, just the beginning of wisdom! A correct positioning of the christian, to begin receiving wisdom.

  4. 1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

    2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

    3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

    4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

    5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

    6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

    King Solomon nicely elaborates how we utilize wisdom: "Justice" - doing what is right as instructed by God; "Judgment" - right decisions and choices; "equity" - fairness in our dealings with people. Verse 5 shows the total benefit of wisdom: A person who adheres to wisdom will have the skill to live successfully in this life; wisdom is intended to benefit him/her physically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially. Look at some examples: How to maintain moral stability (Prov 4:10-19). How to interact with your neighbors ( Prov 3: 27-30). How parents should relate to their children (Prov 5:1-14). As I read the book of Proverbs, I am appalled to see how God wants his children to have abundant life and he has equipped us for this experience. What a practical lesson!

  5. Sometimes we tend to keep God on a common level. A holy fear of Him will lead to respect and reverence because of Who He truly is:our Creator and Sustainer of life.

    • I think that our love relationship with God causes us to reverence and respect Him. How can we fear someone we love? We do not service a god who is 'out there'. He is within us. We are an extention of Him on earth. Knowing this we can consider ourselves holy as He is holy, powerful as He is powerful, creative as He is creator, etc...

  6. I think wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge. The Bible talks about the "wisdom of the world" which "is foolishness to God." 1 Cor. 3:19 God has given us intelligence to make choices. Because of our fallen natures, we need God to help us make choices for good. Like Solomon as we live our lives we acquire limited knowledge that enables us to carry out basic everyday functions, but only God who is omnipotent and sees the beginning from the end can provide us with wisdom and enable us to do exceedingly abundantly above what we ask or think. Eph. 3:20. Solomon recognized that so therefore he asked God for wisdom, but wisdom was only evident in his life as he trusted and obeyed God.
    The fear of the Lord is acceptance of His unconditional love and respect for His supreme authority in our lives. I believe the Israelites at Sinai reacted emotionally to the signs and wonders. As soon as that display stopped, they forgot their promises to God. Consequently, they showed that they did not have a healthy 'fear' of God. The fear of God is foundational for a relationship with Him and that can be translated as faith. I believe that in the garden of Eden, Eve was 'conscious of God's personal presence.' She was quick to tell Satan what God said, and yet she sinned. It is evident that she was walking by sight and not by faith in God. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Heb. 11:6 In the words of Prov. 9:10, it states that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Therefore, he who fears God will produce fruits of wisdom.

  7. To fear God is to hate that which God hates 'evil' sin, that we are easily entangled in, and to start living a life of obedience to God's laws

    Wisdom comes when we start, dwelling constantly upon His commandments or testimonies

  8. The lesson says the that 'The fear of The Lord has nothing to do with superstitious or childish fear of divine punishment. (Which I think we have been taught for years as Adventist). Instead, it should be understood as THE ACUTE CONSCIOUSNESS OF GOD'S PERSONAL PRESENCE AT ALL TIMES and everywhere.' This I think cuts to the core of the matter. If we were 'acutely' aware or conscious of God's personal presence at all times, how our lives would be different. We would know everything we'd need to know and do. God is always as near to us as our next breath. Without our next breath we would not exist. So, stay ever conscious of simply breathing and realize you are in the personal presence of a loving and almighty God.

    • Thank you Sheila. Fear and love cannot live in the same heart anymore than love and hate can. I don't believe I can truly love a person or being that I am afraid of. God is love. I believe He wants us to love Him back, not be afraid of Him.

  9. Fear is related to obedience. what actuate the obedience is another thing altogether. But God is love and so every body fear that knows will Love him and will avoid whatever it is that will destroy that relationship with our saviour because without Him we as good as denmed.
    We obey Him because He first loved us.

  10. Tyler, What you say is true, but there can be no true knowledge, with out a religious foundation, to build on this worlds influence, is false science so called

  11. Our fear of the Lord should be equivalent to that displayed by Job. Despite what he went through, Job held himself faithfully from sinning against God. Even when suggestions came from his wife that he should curse God and die, he still held his integrity and carried himself with discretion. Job 2:9, Job 1:22. Notice too that foolishness is mentioned but Job did not become a fool.

  12. That "fear" of the Lord as was described above, " it should be understood as the acute consciousness of God’s personal presence at all times and everywhere"
    should cause us to take notice that every word and thought are heard by God. This should cause a change in our behavior when we realize that we are constantly standing on God's holy ground and are constantly in His presence.. I will try to remember this even more than I already did!


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