The fear of theLORDis the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” (Prov. 9:10, RSV).

According to this description, many of the world’s “wise” ones have never come out of kindergarten and into the realities of life.

If true wisdom is the orientation of self and the affairs of this world to the Creator-Redeemer, how many of us possess it? Only the fool says God does not exist (Ps. 14:1). The wise man gives God his rightful place in every realm—creation, history, and destiny—and recognizes him as sovereign over individuals and over nations.

Such wisdom, coming as it does from a reverential fear of and trust in God, produces peace, joy, and hope, independent of outward circumstances. It is the preventative for the situation our Lord described as “men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world …” (Luke 21:26).

Even for believers it is usually true that their God is too small. Like the timid souls of every generation, we tend to conceive of God as being bound by our own limitations. Thus we view life with a sense of futility.

To combat this we should pray for and foster in our own hearts and minds a concept of God that reaches back into eternity, outward into infinity, and forward to a joyous and unending life with him. The eternal sovereignty of God, once it is grasped, lifts our hearts and enlightens our minds; and when with this we envision something of the awesome reality of his love, glory, and power, we are on the way to being wise—as God counts wisdom.

When we are able to say with the Psalmist, “For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Ps. 135:5, 6), we find ...

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