If the Beginning of Wisdom Is “Fear of the Lord”, What Is The End of Wisdom?

Proverbs 1: 7 states that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. If that is where Wisdom begins, have you ever pondered where it ends?

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I found this EXCELLENT devotion, written by J. Webb Mealy, that gives an really strong take on this question. From the devotion:

 I want to suggest that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but that it is not the end of wisdom. To me, the end of wisdom (in other words, wisdom’s goal and aim) is not to fear God, but to fear what God fears. 

Let me put it this way. For a toddler, the beginning of wisdom is to fear daddy and mommy. Knowledge of their love, and the natural love that comes up in us in response, is good and wholesome. But wisdom, the constructive side of the “knowledge of good and evil,” consists in more than the knowledge of love (Colossians 1:3-4, 8-10). Wisdom is the ability to discern what is edifying from what is harmful, what is safe from what is dangerous.

Do you get that? In the beginning, Wisdom compels us to trust God’s instruction, period. He is our Heavenly Father, and He always wants the best for us. He wants to protect us. He wants to provide for us. He wants us to live above the ordinary on this earth. So from the beginning, Wisdom’s call is that we obey.

But just as children eventually learn that there is REASON behind their parents’ rules, so, as we grow, do we discover that God’s principles have purpose. He does not ask us to do anything for the sake of asking. Everything in God’s economy has value.

So maturity means perspective, and as we grow in Christ, the lens with which we see His purposes in this world becomes clearer. Eventually, we learn to want what He wants; care about what He cares about; “fear” what He “fears”.

From the devotion:

Through wisdom I have come to understand that my mother does not have two opposite sides, and that she did not have a habit of suddenly turning against me. For the very reason she loved her children, she feared for my safety and the safety of my sister, therefore she rescued me from myself and rescued my sister from me. The beginning of wisdom was to fear her reaction; the end of wisdom is to fear what she fears.

To read Webb’s devotion in its entirety, click HERE.

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