Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, and give attention to know understanding; for I give you good doctrine: do not forsake my law. When I was my father’s son, tender and the only one in the sight of my mother, he also taught me, and said to me: “Let your heart retain my words; keep my commands, and live. Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; she will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory she will deliver to you.” (Proverbs 4:1-9)
Wisdom Is The Principal Thing
Man was created an eternal being. Created in the image of the Creator, man is a being that has a rational and moral conscience that separates him from other animals. Only man was given law and only man can obey law through a system of belief embedded in his heart. In creation, God allowed man to exercise the free will of choice. Because of his rebellion to the will of the Lord man lost his paradise home and through all generations struggles to find happiness and peace. The mercy of God did not leave man without the knowledge to find salvation. Cain and Abel illustrate that from the beginning the Lord requires obedience. Truth is paramount to serving the Lord and truth has always been revealed to man. Accepting or rejecting this truth is where man has found happiness or misery.
The wisdom literature reminds man that happiness in life cannot be found without wisdom. This knowledge is not a fabricated wisdom but rather a truth that comes from the mouth of the Creator. The instruction of a father to a child must be the words of God to help guide, mold and form a character that will find the purpose of life. No knowledge will satisfy unless that knowledge is the mind of God. Retaining His words, keeping His commandments and living by the word of God is where true wisdom is found. The key is doing the will of the Father. After a myriad of generations of man trying to find wisdom within himself – failing completely – we must recognize that truth resides only in the Bible. It remains unchanged and unaltered because it is preserved in Heaven.
Wisdom is the principal thing because the foremost need of man is wisdom from the One who made him. When man turns away from the word of God, he will only find failure. Rejecting the Bible brings heartache to life. The wisdom of the Lord exalts the character of man. He learns to love and care for his neighbor, show kindness, honesty and integrity. God’s word tells us where we came from, why we are here and what hope life has to offer. Death is explained with the clarity of God’s love where man no longer fears it. Peace dwells in a heart that is filled with the wisdom of the Lord. All of this comes from the knowledge of wisdom. Wisdom is the principal thing.
The Holy Scriptures should be our dearest companion. Those who spend time in the Book will find their time filled with the peace that passes all knowledge. No words will be greater, no truths more fulfilling and no hope more lasting than what is found within the pages of Genesis to the Revelation. God is revealed, Jesus Christ glorified, the Holy Spirit magnified and man returns to the paradise of Eden as his spirit walks in the cool of the day with the Lord God Almighty and Creator. Get wisdom and in all your getting – get understanding.
Pure wisdom always directs itself towards God; the purest wisdom is knowledge of God. (Lew Wallace, Ben Hur, 1880)