Matters of Faith: The Principle Thing

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.”

Proverbs 4:7-8 KJV  

The word wisdom is used two hundred and thirty-four times in the Bible — from the Book of Exodus through the Book of Revelation. But it is found fifty-three times in the Book of Proverbs, which is considered the book of wisdom. That is twenty-eight times more than Ecclesiastes, which mentions the word twenty-five times. Interestingly, Solomon is credited with writing all or most of both books. 

The book of Proverbs presents priorities for living. It contains rules, guidelines and instructions that can help us in any and every situation in life. I always suggest that people read a chapter from the book daily, whatever chapter corresponds with the day of the month. It is a practical book, which makes a priority of getting wisdom.

The New International Bible Dictionary shares that the Greek language personifies the word, calling it by the name “Sophia.” It says that the word, when applied to God, is the “infinite, perfect comprehension of all that is or might be” (pg. 1066). It goes on to say that God is the source and the one who makes wisdom available to humanity when we reverence the Lord.    

When wisdom is found in a man, he exhibits a knowledge that allows for the acquisition of desired ends through effective means. But obtaining wisdom is only available when one fears or has a genuine reverence (love) for the Lord. (Prov. 1:7). It is one thing that we are told to get!

Wisdom, the Bible says, is the principle thing. Proverbs 2:10 says that wisdom enters your heart and releases knowledge which becomes pleasant to your soul. In other words, when someone obtains wisdom, it permeates their entire being. There is no aspect of life that will not be impacted by wisdom. 

Proverbs 4:5 says to get both wisdom and understanding. These two attributes are inextricably tied together. The writer shares in Proverbs 9:10 how tightly tied they are; “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” That’s why he says that the person with wisdom is happy and has understanding (Prov. 3:13).  

Least we miss it, the (b) part of verse 8 in the text says that wisdom promotes and gives honor. To justify his claim, he follows up in 15:33 (CEV) with; “Showing respect to the Lord will make you wise, and being humble will bring honor to you. When we are blessed with wisdom and understanding, we must remain humble.” When we are blessed with wisdom and understanding, we must remain humble.

Is there any wonder why it is called the principle thing? 

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; and creator & host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen on Matters of Faith on Facebook LIVE.

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