10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. [NIV]
Lord, increase my knowledge of You. Not just an intellectual grasp of Your precepts, but a heart understanding of Who You are and what You require of me.
Go back to the beginning, to the foundation. Adam’s primary responsibility was to walk and talk with Me in the garden. Out of that intimacy with Me, My character and My heart, he was to exercise dominion over creation, to care for it and cultivate it. Sin’s made both responsibilities more difficult, of course, but they haven’t really changed.
Walk with Me and then reflect My character in the world- love, serve, create, work, play, rejoice. Manage the resources I place into your hands as a good steward, whether that’s relationships, finances, gifts, time, talents, health.
So Proverbs 9:10 is just another way of expressing the Vine and Branches principle.
Sure. Or the blessed guy in Psalm 1 or Jeremiah 17 who meditates on My law and puts his trust in Me and therefore prospers and flourishes in due season.
The one who walks in wisdom and the fear of the Lord begins to understand that terms like shalom, prosperity, blessing, flourishing and fruit-bearing aren’t primarily about the material- property and finances and conveniences. They’re conditions of the heart. True wealth has way more to do with contentment than with portfolios and bank accounts. True peace is more a condition of the soul than it is the absence of challenges and problems.
Again, that’s the lesson of Jeremiah 17. The cursed guy who trusts in “the arm of the flesh” -his own strategies and plans for making life work- winds up in a desert in his soul. Empty, frustrated and angry. His bank account may be fat and he may occupy the corner office and know all of the right people and be a member in good standing of all the right organizations, but if he doesn’t walk in intimacy and trust with Me, he winds up in the desert- fearful, lonely, rootless.
Conversely, the one who truly fears Me and walks with Me “knows no distress in the heat of the drought”. I don’t put him in some sort of magic bubble that shields him from problems, challenges, temptations and adversities. No, I allow the heat to come into his life. For one thing, that gives him the opportunity to live prophetically- to demonstrate that true life is in Me, not in temporal circumstances.
And I use the challenges to draw him even closer to myself, in humilty and dependence. To affirm with his life and heart and lips, “Lord, You have the right to rule!” and “Lord, You will meet my needs!” That’s what Moses was trying to explain to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:
2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.