I hope today’s reading of Proverbs 9 will bring to memory my earlier devotionals on this brief chapter in Proverbs.
I have described Proverbs 9:1-9 as our matriculation into the “University of Wisdom”. The opening verses of Proverbs 9 read like a banquet invitation (9:1-5). Wisdom herself follows the invitation with her own instructions concerning the Wise and the Foolish (9:6-9).
Three proverbs, Proverbs 9:10-12, are transitional verses between the University of Wisdom (9:1-9) and what I am calling the “School of Shame and Folly” (9:13-18).
I will review Proverbs 9:10-11 to set in context today’s proverb, verse 12.
Proverbs 9:10-11 – “The fear of the LORD [reverential fear – Proverbs 1:7] is the beginning [starting point] of wisdom: and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding [wisdom and insight]. 11 For by me [Wisdom is speaking] thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.”
A reverential fear for the Lord is the elementary school of wisdom…it is the starting point. To fear the Lord is to know Him in all that He is—Creator, Everlasting Father, Holy, Just, Loving, Kind, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Redeemer through the sacrifice of His Son, Judge of Eternity…to know Him is to have wisdom and insight. To live according to His will generally be rewarded with an increase in years.
Proverbs 9:12 – “If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it [judgment and destruction].”
God rewards those who are sincere students of the Lord in the University of Wisdom with wisdom and godly character [“be wise, thou shalt be wiser for thyself” – vs. 12]. Those who mock godly wisdom and instruction will bear the shame and destruction alone. Why?
Regardless of the home from which you come, the church to which you go, or the school you attend—every man, woman, boy and girl must bear the responsibility of choosing between the wisdom of God or the foolishness of man (Romans 1:20-32).
Have you made that choice? Godly wisdom begins with knowing God…and that begins with accepting God’s redemptive plan of salvation through the blood of His Son that was shed for your sins (Romans 3:23-26). Your parents, spouse and friends cannot make that decision for you!
I close with the words of Joshua:
Joshua 24:15 – “…Choose you this day whom ye will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”