The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
The average parent today is convinced that a good education is the foundation for a life well lived. How many fathers tell their sons and daughters that if they learn how to earn a good living and manage their credit cards, they will be successful? But the truth is an education without godly wisdom will only make our sons and daughters more intelligent failures at life. In Friends, Foes and Fools, James Merritt writes:
Since 1955, knowledge has doubled every five years; libraries groan with the weight of new books. … High school graduates today have been exposed to more information about the world than Plato, Aristotle, and Benjamin Franklin. In terms of facts alone, neither Moses nor the Apostle Paul could pass a college entrance exam today. But by everyone’s standards, even with all our knowledge, society today is populated with a bumper crop of brilliant failures: men and women who learn how to earn a living but never how to handle life itself. Let’s face it, knowledge is not enough to meet life’s problems. We need wisdom, which helps us encounter life with godly skill.
If wisdom can be simply learned from a book, Rehoboam needed nothing more than to read his father’s book of Proverbs. But unfortunately, his father Solomon had grown more skilled at “talking the talk” than “walking the walk.” At the end of Solomon’s life, his failure to walk in wisdom brought tragic consequences to both him and his family. His pagan wives turned his house into a temple of idolatry. It was idolatry that darkened the heart of his son Rehoboam, whose reign would be described later as “the reign of folly”—a classic case of the adage “like father, like son.” Solomon had given Rehoboam everything he wanted, but he failed to give him what he needed: wisdom.
The same danger exists today. What our children need most is not a car on their sixteenth birthday or a summer vacation to Disney World or money to pay off college loans. The best gift we can give our children is godly wisdom, showing them both in word and deed that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”