â€œWisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars.â€Â Â (Proverbs 9:1)
The foundation of the house of wisdom is â€œthe fear of the LORD. . . the beginning of wisdomâ€ (Proverbs 9:10). One does not finally reach the Lord through much study and the acquisition of much wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the very â€œbeginning of wisdom.â€ Without a reverent trust in the God of creation and redemption, there can be no true wisdom. â€œFor other foundation can no man lay than . . . Jesus Christâ€ (1 Corinthians 3:11).
Then, erected upon this foundation and supporting all the superstructure of the â€œhouse of wisdomâ€ are seven mighty pillars or columns. But what are these? The answer seems to be found in that New Testament book of wisdom, the book of James, where it is said that â€œif any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of Godâ€ (James 1:5). Then, â€œa wise man and endued with knowledge . . . [will] show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdomâ€ (James 3:13).
Finally, the seven great pillars seem to be listed in James 3:17: â€œBut the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.â€ The first in the list or central column, carrying more weight than any of the other columns in the structure, is purity. Then there are six outside pillars. One is peaceableness; the next is gentleness; then comes reasonableness (â€œeasy to be entreatedâ€). The next phrase, â€œfull of mercy and good fruits,â€ connotes helpfulness. The term for â€œwithout partialityâ€ actually means humility, and then the final pillar is sincerity.
Thus, a life of genuine wisdom is a life founded upon the fear of the Lord and supported by genuine purity, peaceableness, gentleness, reasonableness, helpfulness, humility, and sincerity. Such a house will never fall! HMM