What Do The Wise Learn?

Covid Flag 3

We are mapping a survival strategy through the many challenges of the covid age courtesy of ancient wisdom preserved in the Book of Proverbs unlocked by my color coding system. Proverbs insists that our world has a God-planned design so the first thing a wise person does (code blue here) is to start educating themselves about how the world works.

The question then becomes, what sort of things do the wise learn?  That’s what the proverbs are about. One discovery makes all the others possible. The first proverb in the Book of Proverbs (and a key to the entire book) says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”

In Hebrew the verse reads: “Reverence for Yahweh is the basis for discernment”. (Yahweh is the divine name revealed to Israel at Mount Sinai). This proverb does not advocate a creed or religious rite. It describes the attitude that makes it possible to be the kind of life-long learner Proverbs demands. A second proverb explains why it’s so important: “The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life”. To grasp the point, compare that mindset with the attitude of the fool. Another famous Proverb describes him or her well (code this one orange): “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall”. Reverence versus pride, humility versus haughtiness, these attitudes separate wise from fool. The design of reality reveals itself to the humble but remains forever hidden from the proud. 

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