Summary: Describes the seven pillars wisdom is built on.

“Seven Pillars of Wisdom”

January 19, 2014

Proverbs 8:12-14

I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power.

Proverbs 9:1

“Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars.”

One of the spiritual disciplines I have made a part of my life is to read the Bible every day. I have been doing that for many decades now, but it has only been a year or so that I have made reading a chapter in Proverbs a part of that discipline. For years I have read a chapter in the Old Testament and a chapter in the New Testament daily, but now I include a chapter in Proverbs as well. Since there are 31 chapters in the Book I find it convenient to read the chapter that corresponds with the date; such as, chapter one on the first day of the month and chapter two on the second – and so forth.

It doesn’t take reading Proverbs very much before you are confronted with the subject of ‘wisdom’. The Book is full of this topic. In fact, ‘Proverbs’ means “Wise sayings”. The Book of Proverbs is a compilation of wise sayings – mostly from King Solomon, the wisest man who every lived. The Bible says,

“God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East, and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt. He was wiser than anyone else, including Ethan the Ezrahite—wiser than Heman, Kalkol and Darda, the sons of Mahol. And his fame spread to all the surrounding nations. He spoke three thousand proverbs and his songs numbered a thousand and five. He spoke about plant life, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of walls. He also spoke about animals and birds, reptiles and fish. From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, sent by all the kings of the world, who had heard of his wisdom.”

1 Kings 4:29-34

We miss so much of the wisdom of the Book reading it in English. Many of the chapters are acrostics and other poetic forms of expression. But one thing comes out quite clearly – Wisdom is to be desired and sought.

“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.” Proverbs 4:5-9

There are many wonderful benefits of wisdom and many hardships come from a lack of wisdom. I won’t take the time to go into them. You can research them for yourself. This morning I want to take a look at the seven pillars of wisdom. Wisdom is like a house. It is a compilation of things. As a house is a compilation of foundation, floor, walls, ceiling, roof and so one, wisdom is a result of seven important things in your life. You need to choose to have these seven attributes or character traits before you get wisdom. Without these pillars you are not wise; you will not attain wisdom. So I want to take a look at the ‘Seven Pillars’ wisdom is built on and then we will consider how to ‘get’ wisdom. Our Scripture says,

“Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars.”

Proverbs 9:1

In the previous chapter those pillars were described. Here is the first one.

“I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence...” Proverbs 8:12

Without prudence you don’t have wisdom. We better get a good understanding of what prudence is, don’t you think? Prudence is not a word we use very much. Its meaning is lost on most of us today, but at one time it was common and everyone understood what it meant. I had a pretty good idea of what it was, but I looked it up and here is what I found.

Prudence: 1. Caution with regard to practical matters; discretion.

2. Provident care in the management of resources.

Synonyms: Prudence, calculation, foresight, forethought imply attempted provision against possible contingencies. PRUDENCE is care, caution, and good judgment, as well as wisdom in looking ahead; FORESIGHT implies a prudent looking ahead rather far into the future: clear foresight in planning. FORETHOUGHT emphasizes the adequacy of preparation for the future.

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