Since wisdom emanates from God, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is, however, critical that we understand aright the concept of "fear". The fear of the Lord is not to be equated with a cringing attitude of terror before God, but always in this context a reverent sense of awe and wonder as a man measures, (if he dare), the inadequacy of his reciprocal love and response to God. The fear of the Lord is in the context the right attitude to adopt before his Maker. In this respect, "Ecclesiasticus" reinforces the well-known statements of Proverbs 9 & 10.
Among the many gifts and abilities that we refuse or accept, is the gift of wisdom. The believer has no problem in discerning this proffered gift, the only problem is whether we accept or refuse the gift. There is no point in asking when, where or why the gift is offered - the only question that matters is whether we accept or reject the gift.
When King David died, Solomon was heir apparent to the throne of Israel and Judah. That night God appeared to Solomon and said to him:
"Ask what I should give you" 2 Chronicles I, v7
What an opportunity! Dream or no dream, it matters not, for we are in the realm of reality and truth; for the one who gives is the one who gives all, has all to give and desires to give His all, and whose love and word are steadfast and true.
"O Lord God, give me now wisdom and knowledge..." said Solomon.
"Wisdom and knowledge are granted to you. I will also give you what you have not asked for" said God.
What a wonderful beginning to the reign of Solomon! Because his desires were unselfish and directed towards the glory of God, God blessed him.
When we crave possessions or a boon from God are we motivated by thankfulness for the blessings of the past, for present mercies and hopes for the future?
The gift of wisdom and knowledge in this present life is the one most sought after and cherished as we seek peace and purpose and true joy in our relationship with God and our family, friends and loved ones and seek to fulfil our desire to love God and our neighbours as ourselves.
For those who love God in this way, the path has been shown to us in Holy Scripture by the lives of believers, saints and those who have followed in the way of Christ.
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