Proverbs – Christ Jesus, the Wisdom of God
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10
Solomon was the principal author of the Proverbs but there was an Author 'behind' the author that really inspired the book, and that was Jesus Christ. Like each of the Bible writers, Solomon wrote as he was inspired by God, 2 Timothy 3:16.
In teaching about knowing Wisdom, Solomon is ultimately pointing forward in time to knowing Jesus, Who is the Wisdom of God.
"… Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." 1 Corinthians 1:24
So in learning the Proverbs we also learn of Jesus, and our obedience to the instructions in the Proverbs leads to our obedience to Jesus, and our openness to be instructed by Him.
Gaining the wisdom of the Proverbs leads to a virtuous life. Humility, discernment, discipline, astuteness, perception, perspective, selflessness, and so much more. We discover that the fruit of wisdom is, ultimately, the fruit of the Spirit – a humble, selfless, godliness that manifests in our lives as "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Galatians 5:22-23.
The beginning of the journey is the 'fear of the Lord,' this is the beginning of knowing wisdom, that is, knowing Jesus.
Much is written about the idea of the fear of the Lord. Some explain the idea in terms of reverence and awe for God's sovereign majesty, His omnipotence, and grandeur – and it is certainly this. Others are slow to dismiss the idea that fear means fear – something you are afraid of. Not a vengeful, 'boogieman' kind of fear, but a fear of judgment and the offense of our sinful actions in light of God's holiness.
For many of us, our introduction to Jesus was a combination of these things beginning with whatever our perception of God was at the time. Mixed with that was a sense of fear of judgment and hell, but also, and by far the most compelling part, was the love of God expressed through Jesus.
Learning of His love brought our fear into perspective.
Finding out that Jesus was God incarnate, learning that He emptied Himself from the glory of heaven and became like us for the sole purpose of redeeming us and forgiving our sin was staggering!
Learning that He conquered death, hell and the grave, all things that have haunted humans forever, and by His vicarious sacrifice actually made a way for people to escape the terminality of those things, was overwhelming.
Finally, the great love He personified through it all, His sheer kindness towards people who didn't deserve it, moved us to repentance (Romans 2:4) and caused us to fall in love with Him.
We love Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Fear was the beginning of knowing Jesus, and it led to understanding, to love, and, ultimately, to our adoption, as sons and daughters of God (Ephesians 3:20).