When I was in high school I was having trouble with a math class and I could not work the math problems. Our math teacher told all of us that if we had problems, his front door would be open until midnight 5 days a week, and he would be glad to help us. Now I was fearful of failing the course so I diligently went to his house seeking instruction as to how to work those math problems. With his instruction came a little bit more knowledge of how to work the problems. With a little more knowledge came understanding of how to work the problems. Finally, with understanding of how to work the problems, I was able to pass the course.
Solomon talks about acquiring wisdom in a very similar way my teacher gave me the wisdom to work the math problems. Prov.9:10 says, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” “Beginning of wisdom” means there’s levels of wisdom. For instance, the individual who fears God is much wiser than the individual who does not fear God. Prov. 15:33 says “the fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom.” We’re told to seek wisdom as though it’s silver or as hidden treasures in Prov. 2:4, and we’re told “wisdom is better than rubies” in Prov. 8:11.
Isn’t that similar to the way I sought instruction from a math teacher? Prov.1:7 says, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Wasn’t knowledge what I got from the math teacher once he gave me the instruction? Prov. 9:10 says, “knowledge of the holy is understanding.” Once again didn’t I get understanding from the knowledge the teacher brought in my math? Prov. 10:23 says, “a man of understanding hath wisdom.” It appears that my fear of failing, getting the instruction, knowledge, and understanding led to me having the wisdom to work the math problems. It also appears to me from what Solomon has said: if we fear God, seek his instruction, gain knowledge of the holy, and understand what we’ve read in the Bible it will make us wiser.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not: and it shall be given him.” I believe that. Doesn’t it make sense that if Solomon is going to tell us this procedure for acquiring wisdom, that he did it himself? Solomon had to spend a lot of time searching for knowledge to be able to ask God for understanding to judge his people rightly (I Kings 3:12). God then grants him more wisdom than any other man and likens his wisdom to the sands of the seashores. Now compare the wisdom of God in Prov. 8:22 to Solomon’s wisdom where it says the Lord possessed wisdom in the beginning before he made the creation. Can you perceive the wisdom it took God to make the creation? Wisdom comes in levels. – Don Martin