The Proverbs of Solomon originated 3000 years ago. How did Solomon answer her? Compare your interpretation of this proverb to mine which I surmised was his beginning explanation based on his proverbs in the following novel excerpt.
In our next morning meeting in her chambers, Bilqis immediately asked a question to convey her desire to move forward on the subject of wisdom.
“Solomon, I thank you for sending me your proverbs. I have begun reading your writings to familiarize myself with your thoughts on the subject of wisdom. I have a question about your proverb. Please explain why you state the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
I looked closely at her serious facial expression and considered carefully how to address her question. The subject pertained to religious beliefs, which could be potentially volcanic to our relationship. Numerous past wars and turmoil have been sparked between nations because of zealous religious beliefs on this subject. I cautioned myself to be respectful of her beliefs and not convey any impression that my gods were superior to her gods.
“Bilqis, there are many steps to climb to wisdom and I believe no human will ever reach the highest step in their lifetime. There are also many reasons why fear of the Lord is the beginning step of wisdom. Allow me to explain some basic reasons. Please feel free to interrupt me whenever you have any questions.”
“Please continue.” Bilqis replied as she listened attentively.
“We Israelite's believe we can only be wise if we participate in the wisdom of our God. Our faith leads us to believe that the wisdom and power of Yahweh created the earth and fertilizes the heavens and earth, the rain and the dew that sustains us.” By Wisdom Yahweh founded the earth, by discernment he established the heavens; by his knowledge the springs well up from beneath, and clouds drip dew. (Proverbs 3-19, 20)
“Many, including myself, have extensively studied and marveled over the creation of our earth and the many mysteries of life. For example, how life began, the winds blow, the seasons, the plants and animals, the insects, the sun and stars. This much I have concluded. I believe no human being ever possessed the wisdom or knowledge to create the perfect order that exists on our earth.”
“So if my conclusion is correct, there are two possible answers to consider about the mysteries of creation. The first is that a God created our world with a plan and a reason for us to be born. The second is that there are no Gods, plan or purpose, or meaning for life. I believe any other conclusions would be speculative variations to these two answers.”
“If we choose to believe there is a God, what is the first thing we must acknowledge? God is a superior being and has the knowledge and power to create and grant all life on our earth. Our faith leads us to accept that Yahweh can do anything he wills upon us with powers to benefit or take from us, protect us from harm or allow us to suffer and perish. We consider the relationship of Yahweh to be as a father is to his child. We fear our Lord same as a child both fears and loves his father.”
“For example, what does every child learn to do in order to obtain favor from his father? He loves his father and treats him with respect and admiration. In addition, what will a child learn from his father if he disobeys? He will learn his father may discipline the son in order to teach and guide him to follow a righteous path so he may achieve a long and fruitful life. There is a very close relationship between the meaning of fear and love. A father that disciplines his son does so because he loves him.”
“When we accept the wisdom of Yahweh, we learn the true relationship between the meaning of fear and love. To fear Yahweh is to believe we are a member of his community and subject to his love and power. We demonstrate our belief by being reverent to him. We offer our love and service to all of his creations as brothers and sisters of his community. Same as true love is total surrender to please a lover; we totally surrender to live a lifestyle of righteousness to please our God. Our faith rewards us with an inner peace because we have no fear of our final judgment by Yahweh.”
“We believe that the breath of Yahweh created us. We each have his light within the darkest recesses of our belly. The lamp allows Yahweh to know the truth of who we really are, our thoughts, motives, moral and intellectual being. We believe that Yahweh will one day judge our spirit.” Man's spirit is Yahweh’s lamp, exploring all the chambers of his belly. (Proverb 20:27)
“Solomon, there are many people that live their lives in righteousness, yet do not believe in any god. What have you to say about them?”
Source; Chapter Five
As A Lily Among Thorns – A Story of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Goddess of Wisdom by Rudy U Martinka
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