I think many who follow the Lord are familiar with the following verse:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”  
Proverbs 1:7

It’s what is connected to it that I haven’t seen so clearly until tonight.

“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:

“…for attaining wisdom and discipline.” v. 2

“…for attaining a disciplined and prudent life” v. 3

and a repeat of the above

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” v. 7

AND discipline.

I’ve always read this so focused on the acquiring of wisdom and knowledge, that I’ve overlooked this simple but important connection with wisdom.   And how does this apply?

In contemporary culture “wisdom” is often pictured as an old, quiet sage giving sound advice in time of need.  While that is good and is a facet of wisdom, the wisdom according to Proverbs (and Solomon) is different.  Wisdom is about DOING the right thing.  Understanding God’s ways and acting upon them.  Most of Proverbs is about these choices.

That’s how discipline fits in.  Wisdom in the context of doing what is right is

– satisfied with the wife/husband of your youth
– keeping a distance from mockers
– speaking life with your tongue
– honoring God with our money

And so much more.  And these things take discipline.  How easy it is for eyes to wonder or fantasies to grow in the recesses of our minds?  And mockers?  We join them by the TV shows we watch.  Our tongue?  Don’t even go there.  And money?  We all think we are doing right and 95% of us think that we aren’t “wealthy.”  But how do we handle what we have?  These take discipline.  And understanding the ways of God.

Wisdom and discipline are like salt and pepper, apples and oranges, baseball and apple pie.  They just go together.  Because they need each other.