The Beginning of Knowledge

Today's devotion from Proverbs 1.

The proverbs were written by a very wise man. A very wise man who did something incredibly stupid. He forgot his own advice it would seem. What advice would that be? Well, that's a multifaceted answer. For example, Solomon writes that the wise man continually grows in knowledge. He is learning and discerning as more information becomes available. Solomon, however, forgot to be discerning. He learned from his foreign wives and their pagan cults, but he did not discern.

In his assimilating their cultic practices, he forgot to fear the LORD above all. He forgot his father's instruction. Instead, he was enticed by sinners. He was persuaded. An ambush was sprung on him that led to his downfall. He traveled the road with those who willingly and willfully ran toward evil and destruction. Before he realized what was happening, he was with them. He was them.

There are two truths that I think are key. First, one of the greatest pieces of wisdom that we can learn from Solomon is a profound warning. If one of the most intelligent men in history, one who was divinely gifted with above average wisdom, can fall in these pitfalls, we must not kid ourselves that we are immune. You. Can. Fall.

Secondly, his downfall, like our own, is rarely the sudden and fathomless drop we envision. We mistakenly believe we can ride closely to the edge in safety because we will be able to see and react before it is too late. Instead of the terrifying scene we imagine, our demise often begins with a mundane decision to follow an unremarkably enticing path.

In short, the difference between life and death is in the perspective we have the moments before we move. The beginning of destruction is in the small, the uninteresting, or slightly seductive. The beginning of wisdom is the exact opposite. The beginning of wisdom is found in that unbroken view of the immensity and measure of God in which we find fear that inspires reverence.

Before you act today, ask yourself, what is your perspective?