I’ve been pondering some things this week, rather spontaneously on my Telegram channel. Want to ponder along with me???? 😊 I’ve included all the comments and ponderings of the other women, so you can follow along with the discussion.
The Source of Wisdom
Psalms and Proverbs say that wisdom starts with fear…
“The fear of YHVH is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever” (Psalm 111:10).
“The fear of YHVH is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).
“The fear of YHVH is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
What does that fear look like? How do we know someone fears YHVH? And from my perspective as a mom, how do I know my children are learning wisdom? Where would that start in my home?
“Fearfulness looks like obedience. Obedience to His statutes. I am Fearful of being grounded, so I obey house rules. I am Fearful of getting a ticket, so I obey driving statutes. I am Fearful of Yah, so I obey His laws. In all three cases the laws also protect.”
M. replied to K.:
“I never thought of it that way, thank you. I always wondered, what does the fear of YHWH look like? But it makes sense a lot because I can relate to what you said. I am fearful of disobeying Him because I know misery awaits me, and I do not want to live a life of misery without His Shalom [peace] around me.”
My ponderings continued. Why doesn’t it say wisdom starts when we understand how much YHVH loves us? I feel like that’s what we’re taught.
“I think people don’t like the idea of fearing anyone or anything, because it makes a person seem ‘weak’ somehow — and that love comes first.”
“When we realize He loves us, and the laws are not a burden, but meant as a hedge of protection for us, then we walk them out… in wisdom. Similar to a child being obedient to his father. That child is a joy to his mother. This is a picture of wisdom as Wisdom is so closely intertwined with the mother.”
“A wise son makes a father glad, But a foolish [stubborn] son [who refuses to learn] is a grief to his mother” (Proverbs 10:1).
“Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Proverbs 29:17).
Again, what does fear look like?
“That’s my question, too. Being raised with a mom always screaming, no patience at all, everything had to be done fast– I always felt nervous. My safe place was in school, church or when my dad was at home. At that time, I always was in fear. But, I always ask myself, ‘What does the Bible refer to as fear?'” 🤔
B., you reminded me of Proverbs 31:26…
“She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law (Torah) of kindness.”
The Work of the Spirit
Okay, another pondering thought, a little different from this one but still connected in my mind…
What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit?
Here are the first references in Scripture to being filled with the Spirit, from Exodus in the Torah:
“So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest” (Exodus 28:3).
“And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship…” (Exodus 31:3).
“And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you…” (Exodus 31:6).
“And all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goats’ hair” (Exodus 35:26).
“And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship…” (Exodus 35:31).
“And Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whom YHVH has put wisdom and understanding, to know how to do all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, shall do according to all that YHVH has commanded” (Exodus 36:1).
“Then Moses called Bezalel and Aholiab, and every gifted artisan in whose heart YHVH had put wisdom, everyone whose heart was stirred, to come and do the work” (Exodus 36:2).
This looks a lot more *practical* than healing, sign gifts, miracles, speaking in tongues, etc. Anyone else seeing this? But wait, there’s more… 😉
Job is a book that’s even older than Exodus, or at least Job lived at an earlier time period, probably a few generations before Abraham. “Wisdom” is mentioned 24 times in his book. I’ll pick out a couple references that really stood out to me.
“Surely there is a mine for silver, And a place where gold is refined…
But where can wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:1, 12).
“No mention shall be made of coral or quartz,
For the price of wisdom is above rubies” (Job 28:18).
“From where then does wisdom come?
And where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:20).
“Then He saw wisdom and declared it;
He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out” (Job 28:27).
“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of YHVH, that is wisdom,
And to depart from evil is understanding'” (Job 28:28).
“I said, ‘Age should speak,
And multitude of years should teach wisdom'” (Job 32:7).
“Who has put wisdom in the mind?
Or who has given understanding to the heart?
Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
Or who can pour out the bottles of heaven?” (Job 38:36-37).
“Because God deprived her of wisdom, And did not endow her with understanding” (Job 39:17).
“Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, And spread its wings toward the south?” (Job 39:26).
“Every time I hear the word ‘wisdom’ in scripture, I get so excited and happy, and I love to dive into this amazing Wisdom of Elohim. What are the depths of His Wisdom? I cannot even fathom the deepness of His beautiful Majesty!” 😍
So follow along with my pondering. If we’re noting that the FIRST use of being filled with the Spirit of God and with wisdom shows excellence and competence and perfection, rather than miracles, and being filled with wisdom and His Spirit strongly implies obedience to the commands of YHVH — then prophecy must also abide by these standards.
“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-21).
Compare this to what the Torah says about prophets:
“If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for YHVH your God is testing you to know whether you love YHVH your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after YHVH your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from YHVH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which YHVH your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst” (Deuteronomy 13:1-5).
“I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which YHVH has not spoken?’— when a prophet speaks in the name of YHVH, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which YHVH has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deuteronomy 18:18-21).
We can tell a prophet is truly filled with the Spirit if:
- His words line up with the commandments of YHVH and never encourage us to turn away from the commandments God gave us to walk in.
- His words come to pass exactly as he said, because it was given to him by YHVH Himself (and he didn’t make it up in his own mind).
T. reminded us of Ezekiel 36:27:
“And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
“Are you saying 2 Peter and Deuteronomy are in disagreement with one another?”
“No, so sorry. I’m saying they are in perfect agreement, but it differs from what I hear about ‘prophecy’ in mainstream Christianity.”
“No worries… and yes, I completely agree with you. And many sadly don’t see the contradictions between what they are taught and what the Word says.”
In addition, I’ve been studying feminism in the Christian church. I’ve been noticing that the “love of God” is a huge theme. I’m wondering why that is. Is it really where we start? His love for us is where He starts from, but is that where our relationship with Him starts?
“The fear of YHVH is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
Here are some quotes from some major Christian feminist writers. I’m trying to evaluate what they say by comparing it to Torah.
“Lee, the first Korean-American woman ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church, on the value of seeing women as Jesus did:
‘As a Christian, to me feminism is about seeing and valuing women as Jesus did. I’m always moved by the stories of Jesus’ interactions with women in the gospels. In a time and culture where women were often invisible, he saw them and treated them as ones who were honored by God and deeply loved. If the church followed the example of Jesus in how he treated women, it could heal the world. Just like the human body, the whole flourishes when every part is made stronger.’
“Garcia, a transgender Latina who is a candidate for ordained ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, on tracing feminism back to the creation story:
‘Genesis 1: 27 is very clear: God made humankind in God’s image. Feminism, to me, does not mean I want more, I want what God gave to each of us — to be a human being in God’s image. The church has subjugated women far too long and it is time to emphasize the love and compassion Jesus taught us in the Gospel.'”
“This is a theme that here in Latin America is really hard. My oldest daughter went to the University of Puerto Rico, and she was so influenced by this movement. Since I came to Torah I began to teach her what the real feminism is about through Yehovah’s eyes. It has been a slow track, but thanks Yehovah, her thoughts and how she see men now have changed. This movement is really strong here in Puerto Rico. And it also has been introduced in the church.”
“The movement is ridiculously strong here too, and also in the church, as well as the Torah movement. I really think all these themes are tied together. They have the same bad root: trying to be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:4).”
“Wow, I didn’t think was strong in the United States and in the Torah movement. Wow! Lately my prayer is, ‘Abba, help me stay in your path. There are a lot of things going on.’ I also told my children to say this prayer.”
“Funny how it was this very thing- Eve wanting to be like YHWH- that led mankind down the path to sin. I don’t think it was any mistake that it was a woman who was deceived. Adam outright rebelled against YHWH. The results are the same.”
“Feminism claims to be about helping women…for me it completely destroys womanhood as found in the Torah. We are meant to be covered, but it doesn’t mean we are weak and stupid. I think women are supposed to be supportive to their husbands like the Holy Spirit supports all believers. Women just don’t see their role as defined by the Torah! It will take the rest of us to patiently guide other women… by our ACTIONS… first. Not our words. Words, I think, come once the person sees you are defined by a different standard… a healthy one.”
I truly do believe that wisdom brings with it an understanding of YHVH’s love for us, but my theory is that it never starts with love. We must start with a fear of Him, enough that we are moved to obey Him. This feels very weird to even write, because how can we love a Being that we fear? However, this is what the Bible says.
Parenting and Authority
And if this is true, does this extend to other relationships, such as parenting, teachers, and all authority structure?
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which YHVH your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12).
“Honor your father and your mother, as YHVH your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which YHVH your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 5:16).
“This is true! We fear our fathers first, then we understand that he must command us, but for our protection. In a healthy family of course. Loves comes through doing…”
The Father just reminded me of Romans 1, where Paul says he wants to go to the believers in Rome so he can impart to them some spiritual gift (Romans 1:11). What was that?
And he mentions that many in this world have great knowledge about God, but yet they reject Him (Romans 1:20-21). So knowledge can’t be where we start.
Why do they reject Him? Because they want to worship themselves (Romans 1:25).
How are these unwise people characterized?
“…being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful” (Romans 1:29-31).
Note that disobedience to parents is listed— and that it deserves death! Yikes…
And all the while, these people know that what they do deserves death, but they do it anyway (Romans 1:32). They don’t fear Him!
There is no fear of God before their eyes. They have become fools.
This is very sobering, especially since they actually knew a lot about God. This could be our own children. 😞
“It’s terrifying to think of. In lacking fear of YHWH, we make ourselves gods. Even as believers who observe Torah, to think we can challenge Him means we don’t fear Him.”
“Without knowledge of the culture when certain scriptures were written, one cannot know the truth of God’s Word. To read the Word, which is a Hebrew text (Greek in NT which had been translated from Hebrew; e.g. Paul translated what he was writing from his communication in Hebrew into the Greek language), written to Hebrew speaking people, but reading from Western thought will never yield truth. Scripture must be studied correctly in order to rightly divide it.”
“In my Bible reading today, I am in Joshua. Here is a passage about fear and Joshua being the new leader. I think it goes with your pondering. I hope it makes sense to you. ‘On that day YHVH exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they feared him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses‘ (Joshua 4:14). Read what Joshua did before this verse, and apply the concept of fear equal to wisdom and understanding.”
“This makes me cry. 😭 It reminds me of how my adult kids have gone, but I’m praying Yah will change their hearts. 🙏 Abba, YHVH, let us be women/men who break open Your Word on a daily basis so that we can be given insight into Your plans for our lives. We desire to be women/men who shine with Your revelation-light!”
“The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple” (Psalm 119:130).
“🙏 with you, Sarah.”
Wisdom Brings Repentance
And in closing, I read this little commentary this morning, about how hard it is for each of us to receive correction. Dear Father, make our hearts humble and soft!!
There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
“Is it a mistake that Proverbs 14:12 is repeated word for word in this verse? In one important sense, nothing that happens is a mistake. If a scribe in the year 1400 B.C. accidentally repeated a verse in his copy of the book of Proverbs, and his copy of the text became the accepted Hebrew text for all future Bibles, then we must conclude that God intended this to happen. If there is anything we have learned from the Book of Proverbs thus far, it is that God providentially controls all human events.
“When a teacher repeats something for his students, he does so for emphasis. This verse addresses the psychological state of fallen man. He always assumes that he himself is the standard of what is good and right. This is why there are atheists today who act as though they are morally offended by God’s destruction of the world by a flood and His destruction of the Canaanites. That atheist may be in favor of homosexuality, abortion, racial quotas, the redistribution of the wealth, and other favorite liberal causes. Of course, he would take great moral offense to God’s destruction of homosexuals at Sodom!
“But this autonomous attitude also explains why the flesh is so reticent to receive correction. How can the very standard of all that is right and just be questioned? Of course, the problem here is that men are playing the part of God, and this is the very definition of sin and evil.”
We all need some correction in our lives.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.