Reflection – Rev Ken Connor

Scripture is the source of all.
‘…for gaining wisdom and instruction…The fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.’ (Proverbs 1:1-7)

Just as Jesus being the ‘good shepherd’ (John 10:11) enriches the reading of Psalm 23 for the Christian, so Jesus being one ‘greater than Solomon’ (Matthew 12:42) enriches our reading of the book of Proverbs. The call to live wisely in God’s world is as significant today as it was in the Old Testament times, but for Christians it focuses on the person and the work of Jesus, who embodies wisdom in himself. The way of life that flows from the fear of the Lord is found in our following of Jesus, the one who makes it possible to walk in the path of wisdom in our everyday life.

To our ears the word ‘fear’ can suggest a sense of cringing terror or dread, but that is probably not intended here – though there is a level of ‘fear and trembling’ that is appropriate when faced with the presence of God. The English word ‘awe’ and ‘reverence’ perhaps come closest to what is implied in most uses of the word. If wisdom literature is concerned with living wisely in God’s world, then the fear of the Lord is the first principle of such a life, where being wise finds its foundation in a relationship with, and a deep reverence of, the covenant of the Lord God, rather than being wise in one’s own eyes (Proverbs 3:7).

This then shapes the decisions we make in everyday life and directs our prayers as we seek to grow in wisdom through God’s word. As we read and digest the words of wisdom in Scripture, we find a source for wisdom and instruction that helps us to live well for the glory of God.

Gracious God, as we journey through Lent, let your word be a lamp onto our feet to guide us, and to lead us to wisdom through your word. Amen.