A week or two ago I had one of those "aha!" moments, you know, with the little light bulb and everything.
As I pored over Proverbs 10, 11, and 12, looking for verses on the fruit of the tongue, I came across a gem contained in Proverbs 11 verse 2: "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom."
When I read that, my mind flashed back to an oft-quoted verse that said the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (cue light bulb). Perhaps there is a link between the fear of the LORD and humility. Hmmm...
This came at an interesting time, as I was trying to figure out exactly what wisdom is, and how to get more of it. For a while, there's always been something in the back of my mind that wisdom needs to be deep, something profound. That has been changing.
Then there is the whole 'fearing God' concept that I'd put on the shelf. I had been struggling on and off with considering God as a Father, and yet fearing him, being afraid of him as it were. Now that this verse popped up, I was able to take the concept off the shelf, dust it off, and examine it again.
The psalmist who wrote Psalm 111 tells us in the last verse that "The fear of the L
ORD is the beginning of wisdom
" and "all who follow his precepts have good understanding
." King Solomon tells us in Proverbs 1:7 that "The fear of the L
ORD is the beginning of knowledge
I wanted to take a closer look at the word 'fear' to get a better grasp on what these verses mean, so I went to the original Hebrew. A vocational scholar I am not, but e-sword
I do have (and it's free!). The translation of the Hebrew word is: "fear
(also used as infinitive); morally reverence
So it seems the fear, or reverence, of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. And where would the fear or reverence of God come from? It would come from knowing how great he is and how finite we are (cue humility). What, then, is humility? Humility is knowing your limits, knowing who you are not, as well as
knowing who you are
Making the connection?
Let's go back to wisdom. I've been coming to realize that wisdom need not be deep to be wisdom, it can be simple and rather ordinary, it can even be known at times as 'common sense'. Here's a literal translation from the Webster Dictionary: "The quality of being wise; knowledge, and the capacity to make due use of it; knowledge of the best ends and the best means; discernment and judgment; discretion...
Knowing God would mean knowing how great, how magnificent, how amazing he is, inspiring fear or reverence. Having humility would be looking at ourselves in sober judgment (see Romans 12). So fearing the LORD and having humility would mean that you understand how things are, giving you "the capacity to make due use of [knowledge]," aka wisdom, or at least the beginning of it.
Those are my thoughts on the matter. What do you think?