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“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.” - Proverbs 9:10

When I was about 12 or 13, I was a pretty good athlete; I was considered one of the best in my city. I had an older cousin who would train me in the summer, and he once told me something I would never forget.

He said, “You are good right now, but you want to be good when it really matters. When you are older, they will either say, ‘Remember when he used to be good?’ or say, ‘Man, he has always been good. What they will say about you depends on the work you put in.’”

That was great advice for me. Joyce Meyer has said, “Wisdom is doing today what your future self will thank you for.” My cousin was trying to get me to realize that working hard today was something I would appreciate later.

So many athletes start strong but finish weak.

That is a major theme of the story of Solomon in the Bible.

Solomon was the son of David. David was the great leader who defeated Goliath and led the Israelites after the death of King Saul. Solomon was a young boy when his father David was killed, and just before dying, David told his son Solomon in 1 Kings 2:1-4:

“I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, act like a man, and observe what the Lord your God requires: Walk in obedience to him, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and regulations, as written in the Law of Moses. Do this so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go and that the Lord may keep his promise to me: ‘If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’”

In 1 Kings 3:3, it is written:

Solomon showed his love for the Lord by walking according to the instructions given to him by his father David, and in 1 Kings 3:5, the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.
“Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?”

Solomon only asked for wisdom so that he could lead his people the best he could.

Because of this, God gave Solomon more wisdom than anybody had received, which led to success and wealth beyond anything he could ever imagine.

Solomon started off strong by seeking the wisdom of God.

But Solomon did not keep doing what God told him to do. Solomon started worshipping other Gods and doing other things that were not pleasing to Him, and that was his downfall.

Solomon started strong but finished weak.

In 1 Kings 11, it is written that King Solomon loved many foreign women, and had 700 wives. They turned Solomon’s heart to worshiping other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God. God was very angry with Solomon, and in 1 Kings 11:9-10, it is written that God visited him twice to warn Solomon about worshipping other gods, but Solomon didn’t listen.

So God told him, “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants.

Solomon started strong but finished weak because even though he knew what he was supposed to do, he still didn’t do it.

Knowledge is good, but wisdom is even better. Knowledge can help you pass tests and accomplish things, but wisdom will guide you through the most difficult and important decisions in your life.

One of the most important books of wisdom that you can read is the book of Proverbs. Solomon wrote proverbs. In Proverbs 9:10, Solomon wrote: “Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.” When you have a healthy fear of the Lord, you will do what he tells you to do, and you will find success.

Final Thought

If you ever wonder if you are doing the right thing or thinking the right thing, follow the Philippians 4 Test. Philippians 4:8 is a verse you can use for the thoughts you think, the words you speak, and everything you do:

Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.


1 - What is a goal that you have?

2 - Does your goal pass the Philippians 4 test?

3 - What are three things you must do to achieve that goal?

4 - Do those things pass the Philippians 4 test?

For a Google doc version of this devo, click here: Week 18 | Seek Wisdom

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