This is the start of a 31 Day Devotional for men called, “31 Days To Becoming A Proverbs Man”. Hope you enjoy it.
There is a big difference in wisdom and knowledge. When my dad taught me to shoot a gun, I learned the basic mechanics of how guns work. Bullets, firing pins, and gun powder are one thing; gun safety and human life are another. Those are matters of wisdom. I learned important lessons on how to carry a gun on a hunt when walking in the woods with a friend and how to ensure it was unloaded before climbing into and out of the stand. Knowing how a gun works was knowledge, but wisdom was needed to ensure safety and future.
Solomon began his book of Proverbs by reminding us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). I’ve noticed some guys, as I am one, have a tendency to pretend they know it all even when they don’t. My son is quick to say, “Dad, I’ve got this”, or “I know, I know, I know.” Like father like son. Solomon reminds us the beginning of knowledge is the fear of the Lord. He’s the beginning of everything (remember Genesis 1?). This isn’t being afraid, but in awe of the One from Whom all knowledge comes and relying on Him for everything. Solomon was really talking about a relationship with God, making Him first in all things. I mean, isn’t it good to go the Source for everything? I’m not one to usually read instructions first, but wisdom has taught me they are there for a reason. It’s when I’ve messed up stuff that I usually humbly ask, “Now where did I put those instructions?”
In order for us to learn anything, we must first listen. Listening is the first step to knowledge. Letting it sink in that “God is always right and I am not” is where the wisdom part comes in. It’s not enough to just say, “I know, I know, I know.” Obedience is the first step towards wisdom. I want to be a man of wisdom, dealing rightly with my marriage, family, friends, career, and calling. Proverbs 1 goes on to remind us wisdom comes from listening to those who know better than us (8-9), staying away from evil and making the right choices (10-19), and listening and obeying God’s voice of wisdom when it calls out (20-23). The consequences (24-33) for ignoring and abandoning God’s wisdom are horrible, “For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them” (33a). Be a man of wisdom because, “Whoever listens to me (God) will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm” (33b). Wisdom begins with a relationship with God. How’s yours?