The Three Dimensions of Biblical Wisdom

Scripture Passage: Proverbs 1:1-7

Biblical wisdom is similar but not the same as the wisdom of the world. Proverbs 1:1-7 shows that Biblical Wisdom has three dimensions to it.

1. Biblical Wisdom is Moral | Proverbs 1:3
If you asked someone what wisdom is, the first answer you’d probably get would have something to do with morals and deciding about right and wrong. The pictures we have in our head about Solomon usually involves him being confronted with a complicated situation with no easy answers and somehow he decides on what the right thing to do. And it’s true. This is a huge dimension of what wisdom is. Wisdom will help you be righteous, seek justice, and be fair with all people even in complicated situations. But that is not the whole story.

2. Biblical Wisdom is Practical | Proverbs 1:2, 4-6
The Hebrew word for wisdom is best translated as “skill.” It is used to describe the ability of the craftsmen who worked on the tabernacle in Exodus 31:6. The Proverbs are not abstract concepts. They are radically practical.

Wisdom isn’t just something you know. It’s something you do. It is learning to live skillfully. Verses 2 literally says, “to receive instruction in wise behavior.” The word we use here at Kingsland for this is “true fulfillment.” You will find true fulfillment when you acquire wisdom, literally when you learn the skill of living well.

3. Biblical Wisdom is Theological Proverbs !:7
Wisdom is moral. Wisdom is practical. But the most important dimension of wisdom is that it is theological, which is just a fancy way of saying that it is God-Focused. Several times in the proverbs, including in verse 7, we are reminded that “fear of the Lord” is where everything begins.

People often think “fearing God” means that we should be afraid of God. But that is not what it means. We are told that God loves us (John 3:16), and that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). So fearing God cant mean to be afraid of Him.

Fearing God means to be “to wonder and be amazed at.” The difference is discerned in its effect on us. To be afraid of something makes you run away from it. To be awed by something makes you want to draw closer to it. Fearing God is to be amazed by who God is and to desire to draw closer to Him.

This is the most important dimension of wisdom because it is the source. Wisdom comes from being in right relationship with the one who made the world.

• Wisdom is moral, it will help you make right decisions in hard situations.
• Wisdom is practical, it will help you learn to live skillfully.
• Wisdom is theological, it will draw you closer to God, and the closer you are to God the more His life will flow into yours.

Discussion Questions:
• What does it mean that wisdom is learning to live skillfully?
• What does it mean to fear God? Why is it the beginning of becoming wise?

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