I’m still learning, but there are two things of which I’m convinced:
- The 7 pillars of wisdom are like supporting beams in our house and have to do with personal relationships, or how we deal with our family or any community in which we are involved.
- I know that not one of these 7 pillars can be missing from our life if we want to have peace, and lack of anxiety and turmoil in all the choices we make. In other words, they are essential for life and to be able to move forward and to claim the promise we’re given for a long, happy and productive life.
What are the 7 Pillars of Wisdom?
Have you ever heard of the 7 pillars of wisdom? And if you have, do you know what they are? I recently read this phrase as I was reading Proverbs, chapter 9, on the 9th day of one recent month.
Since there are 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs written by the wisest man in the world, King Solomon, reading one per day is what many Christians do. Until this day, I never gave this phrase a second thought. And, I wondered, what are those 7 pillars?
As I began to meditate on this chapter, the thought came to me that maybe this wise man would not mention them without telling us what they were. And, just maybe he did not number them like we would today. I was astounded at what I discovered. Also, I believe that without a recent encounter with a ‘scorner’ I would not have recognized these 7 pillars. Please learn from my mistake
The first verse says, “Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out and set up her seven [perfect number of] pillars” (Amplified). Webster’s dictionary defines house as a “household; a family under the same roof; a religious community in residence.” Thus, that is why we are looking at relationships – present and future.
It’s in verses 6 through 12 where we find the nuggets of gold: insight and understanding; discernment; reprove not a scorner; look for the FAT; a reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord; promise of long life; and wisdom is for oneself.
Number 1 of the 7 Pillars of Wisdom: Insight and Understanding
Verse 6 says, “Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding” (NKJV). The Amplified version includes the word ‘insight.’ Spiritual insight can come only from taking time to dig deep to get understanding from the Word of God.
One of my favorite Scriptures is Proverbs 4:7: “in all thy getting, get an understanding.” This is the verse that changed my life when my children were young. It alerted me to the fact that I had to put in effort with discipline to learn Wisdom, I had to seek God, and that I could learn from Him myself.
Verse 5 shows exactly how to get insight and understanding, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the spiritual wine” – this is the Word of God. This is Jesus Himself who is the Word made flesh and blood. He calls to us to hear and listen to His voice and open the door. He promises, “I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he will eat with Me” (Revelation 3:20).
Number 2 of the 7 Pillars of Wisdom: Discernment
Verse 7: “He who rebukes a scorner heaps upon himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man gets for himself bruises.” Okay, here’s the problem. How do we know when to try to correct in love and when to withhold our tongue or texts? Namely, to have discernment.
The Bible tells us “if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother” (Matthew 18:15). Many have given the wisdom to learn from other’s mistakes, so that you don’t have to make all of them yourself. I hope you can learn from my lack of wisdom.
A fellow brother in community took offense with a situation which involved several of my friends. He immediately took to the internet to spout abusive words against them by name. I prayed about the situation a lot and felt led to write him a letter of encouragement with just a hint of correction with a Scripture from Isaiah the Lord showed me.
In Isaiah 65:2, God laments that He has “stretched out His hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts [and opinions].” The Bible also says that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. I did not mention that in the letter, but maybe I should have; this person responded to my email just fine, but the behavior did not change.
I was extremely concerned about this situation and kept praying until the Lord gave me a dream. I saw a baby spit up a whole bunch. The Lord seems to say, “What do you do when this happens?”
“Well, Lord, I wipe it up and throw it away.”
“Exactly, and, remember this is my baby. Only I can make it grow. Just keep praying, and trust Me.”
Discernment of when to CONFRONT IN LOVE is not easy, but it’s getting easier – because of the next pillar.
Number 3 of the 7 Pillars of Wisdom: Reprove Not a Scorner
Here it is, just plain and simple: DO NOT reprove the scorner, scoffer or mocker!! As plain as day, just don’t do it God says! I wish I’d learned this sooner.
Verse 8, “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.” So, what is a scorner anyway? Webster’s for scorn: “to reject or dismiss as contemptible or unworthy; open dislike and disrespect or derision often mixed with indignation.”
Discernment calls for recognizing this in an individual and to just stay away. Let it go! “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Timothy 2:23).
“A scoffer does not love one who corrects him, nor will he go to the wise” (Prov. 15:12). This person has never prayed, “Lord, change me,” nor, gone to the Word for insight and understanding himself.
On the other hand, “rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.” Thankfully, I’ve experienced this. The surprise response was, “Thank you.”
Number 4 of the 7 Pillars of Wisdom: Look for the FAT
Verse 9, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser; Teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” How do we discern the wise man or woman? Here is what I learned from my friend GRETCHEN’S STORY. Look for FAT people:
F – Faithful
A – Available
T – Teachable
As a Bible study leader, I’ve found it hard and easy to find faithful, available and teachable people. Hard in the sense that they are few. These are ones who have come to the end of themselves, and discovered they are powerless without The Rock to stand on. These are hurting people in crisis mode who are ready to put in the effort to become very wise.
Number 5 of the 7 Pillars of Wisdom: Have a reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord
Verse 10, “The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” The Knowledge of the Holy One – it’s taken years of walking with the Lord to realize that His ways and His thoughts are so much higher than mine (Isaiah 55:9). He taught me that there are seasons that begin and end in my life.
Our city-wide women’s group lasted only seven years. These are the women you are reading about in GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I? e-course on this site. In year eight, the Lord no longer brought women to me who were ready and willing to share their testimony, and everyone I had to go to and ask, turned me down. What is going on here, Lord? I thought.
A wise woman said to me, “I’ve found there are seasons in our lives and that they change.”
Shortly, my husband retired, and we moved from town to our next assignment. Many could not understand; we did not really understand, but it’s as the Word says, “Man’s steps are ordered by the Lord. How then can a man understand his way?” (Proverbs 20:24).
Number 6 of the 7 Pillars of Wisdom: Promise of Long Life
Verse 11, “For by me [Wisdom from God] your days shall be multiplied, and years of your life shall be increased.” This is straightforward. What a great God we serve who is always ready to reward those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11: 6). There is no end to His promises!
Number 7 of the 7 Pillars of Wisdom: Wisdom is for Oneself
Verse 12, “If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scorn, you alone will bear it and pay the penalty.” Be wise for yourself. Here is the crux of it all:
We need wisdom to know our seasons. Daniel 2:21 makes it clear, “He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding!”
We may not be able to understand our season, possibly that we are only moving from one to the next, and that the only way to get there is to remove our feet from one bank of the river to get to the other side. Our responsibility, though, is to know when it’s time to get on the offensive team to be ready for the next assignment from the Lord He has planned for us.
No one else can understand what God is doing in our life. Even then, most times it’s only when we get beyond the present circumstances that we can look back and understand those plans and purposes.
Even Jesus was hardly ever understood; how much more should we expect to be misunderstood? This is one of the hardest things to endure, and I call it spiritual persecution. Jesus tells us that it is those from our own household where division will come.
Consequently, we cannot live to please other people. PLEASERS do not know who they are, nor who God is. They are not happy and will never take a stand; merely a chameleon changing with everyone else’s thoughts and opinions.
Pleasers will never be able to move forward and to claim the promise given for a long, happy and productive life with the 7 pillars of wisdom essential to build LIFE.
I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. Be not like the horse or the mule, which lack understanding, which must have their mouths held firm with bit and bridle, or else they will not come with you (Psalm 32:8-9).
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid (Prov. 12:1).
Stern discipline awaits anyone who leaves the path; the one who hates correction will die (Proverbs 15:10).