The Beginning of WisdomJanuary 2, 2023 - 12:00 am
Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. — Proverbs 9:9–10
As we begin a new year and a new decade, let the pursuit of wisdom be one of your top goals. Enjoy this collection of devotions on wisdom throughout the month from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s timeless teachings.
I am always thankful that Bible-believing Christians stand together with Israel in the midst of growing anti-Semitism. The most important thing Christians can do to support Israel is to stay informed. Begin by learning about key events in Jewish history and then stay abreast of current events.
Learning is the first step to wisdom. The book of Proverbs says to “instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still” (Proverbs 9:9). This is because a wise person is always eager to learn and gain more wisdom. So gain all the information you can because knowledge grows into wisdom as it is put into practice. The more you know about Israel, the more likely you are to follow current events and get involved where appropriate.
Teaching empowers others with knowledge and wisdom. As you learn about Israel’s past history and current events, share them with someone else. Make an effort to “teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning” (v. 9). Pass on what you have learned. Sharing your knowledge about Israel helps others to overcome apathy and dispel misinformation.
Along with knowledge comes understanding. Specifically, the proverb says that “knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (v. 10). The more you learn about Israel and become interested in her people, the more you will understand the present problems, dilemmas, and crises she faces. Knowing the facts provides an accurate context for current events. Sharing those facts dispels myths. For instance, knowing the facts about the history and present situation between Israel and the Palestinians can help combat the half truths, lies and propaganda that circulate among those who have a hidden agenda.
Most importantly, the proverb states that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (v. 10). Therefore, allow your desire to honour God be the motivating factor in gaining knowledge of Israel’s past and present. As Christians and Jews, we share a common heritage rooted in the land of Israel. Together we stand for Israel and the people He calls “my treasured possession” (Exodus 19:5).