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Issue 018

Have you noticed that wisdom is a very sought after commodity? You hear companies speak of ’intellectual capital’ or ’buying talent’ or even ’paying for your brain’.. Behind it all is the notion that the ability to solve problems is valuable.

People will pay well for someone who can plan and predict. Someone who can read the markets or forecast trends. This is the kind of
wisdom that the book of Proverbs ascribes to the ant who plans for the future.

People will pay for someone who can see dangers coming or find and eradicate flaws in an operation so as to protect a business from harm. Proverbs ascribes this kind of wisdom to the rock badger who has the wit to hide in rocks for protection.

Fortunes are to be made by consultants who pull people together to achieve common goals like the locusts do in a swarm.
And hardworking and creative people are highly sought after in all kinds of businesses. Proverbs ascribes this kind of wisdom to the spider spinning a brilliant web.

And the end results of this wisdom are financial gain for individuals and companies; safety and security along with developing businesses; efficient teams working well together and innovative products for the marketplace.

There is, of course, nothing wrong with this – except that it is incomplete. These benefits are the end results of wisdom. Proverbs also tells us that there is a “beginning– to wisdom”. It is “The fear of the Lord”. It is possible to operate on the end of wisdom and focus on results. When people forget to “fear The Lord”, focus on rewards and then forget to “seek The Lord” they run the risk of a self-centred lifestyle.

It may be that you are involved in leading or training others in imparting wisdom. In which case you may be helping people to find
the means to these end results. Can I suggest you also use the opportunity to help them reflect?

It’s no good “gaining the whole world and losing your soul”. “People’s lives do not consist in the accumulation of wealth.” This life is not all that there is. These last statements come at the beginning of wisdom and they are to do with fearing the Lord.


Proverbs 9:1-10

1 Wisdom has built her house;
she has set up its seven pillars.
2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her servants, and she calls
from the highest point of the city,
4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
5 “Come, eat my food
and drink the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways and you will live;
walk in the way of insight.”
7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
rebuke the wise and they will love you.
9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

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Series: -
Module: 7
Season: -
Daily Guide: No

Tags: wisdom, witness, worship

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Geoff Shattock

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