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 Folly and Shame” (9:13-18).
I will review Proverbs 9:10-11 to set today’s proverb, verse 12, in context.
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, and Judge of Eternity. To know Him is to have wisdom and insight and to live according to His will is generally rewarded with long life (9:11).
Proverbs 9:12 – “If thou be wise [to live in a righteous manner], thou shalt be wise [discerning] for thyself: but if thou scornest [mock; deride wisdom and instruction], thou alone shalt bear it [be carried away with judgment and destruction].”
God rewards sincere students enrolled in the University of Wisdom with wisdom and godly character [“be wise, thou shalt be wiser for thyself” – vs. 12]; however, those who mock godly wisdom and instruction will bear the shame and destruction that attends the way of the prodigal. Every man, woman, boy and girl bears 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 His 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 and example of Joshua:
Joshua 24:15 – “…Choose you this day whom ye will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith