Proverbs 1:5-7 (ESV)

Let the wise hear and increase in learning,

and the one who understands obtain guidance,

to understand a proverb and a saying,

the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

fools despise wisdom and instruction.

“Understanding” is repeated twice as a reminder that hard work and study are essential to wisdom. A proverb is like a parable, and the words of the wise and their riddles impart proven statements that require careful thought and consideration. Verse 7 is the foundation of the entire book. Practically, this is where the foolish and the wise are separated. The fool wants to live according to her own desires and pleasures. The one who is wise, on the other hand, lives with a continual awareness of the existence of God and his right to oversee and manage all of creation. The wise one trusts that God’s choices are better than her own choices, and will align herself with his will. Do you ever feel like obedience to God is going to leave you wanting or cheated? It’s not. In fact, the opposite is true. God knows what’s best for us.We need to listen to and apply what he says.