The Root of Wisdom?


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

  • Proverbs 9 vs 10

This is a popular verse. If wisdom is the application of knowledge, then why is the fear of the Lord the beginning of wisdom? What is the fear of the Lord, really?

I really like this commentary from

What is “the fear of the Lord”?

  1. The right knowledge of Him in what He is–
  2. And, consequent upon this–

Mark how a child, as it learns its duty to an earthly parent, is thus trained in its relation to its heavenly Father.

II. This is true wisdom, which means here the knowledge of Divine things, rightly used. When we fear the Lord we are wise, because–

  1. The heart is then taught by the Holy Ghost.
  2. We set a right value on things temporal and eternal.
  3. We listen to the words of Jesus and of the Scriptures, and repent and believe the gospel (Luke 10:42; 2 Timothy 3:15).
  4. We seek to know and carefully follow His holy will (Ephesians 5:17).
  5. We walk in a sure path of peace and safety (chap. 3:17).

III. But our text states that this fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

  1. It is at the root of all true wisdom; for we are never truly wise till we begin here, and only then do we know how to deal rightly with all things.
  2. It is only reasonable then, and our solemn and bounden duty, to teach our children these blessed things early.
  3. And God has confirmed the truth of the text by making this thoroughly practicable. Mark how the relations and circumstances of a child prepare it for learning: What God is as a Father. What Christ is as a Saviour. What the Holy Ghost is as a Teacher. Also what repentance, faith, obedience, etc., are, and the opposite of all these. Note the parables of Scripture.
  4. And the Holy Ghost can reach a child’s heart; hence the parent’s encouragement to pray, and to use teaching in faith and perseverance. (C. J. Goodhart, M.A.)

This makes sense seeing that the wisdom of a child lies in what the parents give to the child, until that child engages in other elements (school, church, socializing with friends etc).

When I need wisdom I always refer to the book of proverbs, only because it is very PRACTICAL. It’s not emotional and spiritual and abstract. It is very straightforward and can be applied to anyone and any case, regardless of whether or not you believe in Christ.

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