What is wisdom? Wisdom is the ability to understand how something works, either creating some magnificent work or structure, or even understanding how to navigating life itself. The common phrase, “you live and learn” explains the world’s view of gaining wisdom. As one lives life and either does well or fails, wisdom is gained through these experiences. The Post- Modern philosophy didn’t bring any clarification into the quest of discovering wisdom. This philosophy believes that reality can be determined by the individual; what’s true for one may not be true for another. Something as basic as the gender of a person is now debated within the ivory towers of education. If reality is now based off of a person’s feelings, then life instantly becomes as stable as shifting stands. True chaos is discovered in the changing “reality” of the feelings experienced by an individual. The uncertainty of knowing what is true begs the question, is there another way to understand how to navigate this life?
Proverbs 9:10 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” This passage brings to mind the image of a ship lost at sea. The captain of the ship has two decisions to make: either use the navigation system to arrive at a safe port or to use his or her gut to reach the same destination. Clearly the wise person would use all the tools available to navigate through the storm in order to find safety. The fool would trust him or herself to reach safety. It’s easy to get turned around when the clouds are covering the stars, and the waves are knocking the ship back and forth. This passage is saying that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. It is telling the reader that the beginning of wisdom is found outside of one’s self, just like the navigation system is found outside of the captain. The captain then has the ability to navigate the ship through the storm to safety. The fool in arrogance does not fear God, ultimately ending capsized and lost at sea.
By fearing God, knowing His word, allows a person to know the direction that leads to a safe haven. When life seems as though it is chaotic, trusting in God and His word brings the sure foundation needed to navigate this life and arrive in His presence in the next life.