These are the proverbs of Solomon. Solomon wrote three books that are included in our Bibles. Song of Songs was written as a young man (he became king at 19 years of age); Proverbs at middle age, and Ecclesiastes at the end of his life. Proverbs contains the height of his mature wisdom, the wisdom which is from God.
Solomon begins Proverbs by teaching us the three sources of wisdom:
1) The fear of the LORD. I know people like to say that this doesn’t mean, be afraid of the LORD, it simply means regard the LORD. I think it means, be afraid of the Lord. If Uzza in 1 Chr 13 had been afraid of the LORD, he would not have died on the road to Jerusalem, because he would have been afraid to stretch out his hand to the ark, being a non- Levite. God is holy, and He is just, and He judges sin. That is enough to make a wise man afraid.
It is the fear of the LORD that gives wisdom, because knowing that your God is holy and judges sin will restrain your hand from sinning. If fathers discipline their children when they disobey, children learn to be afraid of disobeying their fathers, and that is a good thing for them. Now we know from Scripture that the fear of the LORD is a good thing. But God is not like a human father. He can show His displeasure when we have done wrong, but He also shows His affection and His love. In fact, God is a balanced Father. A balanced father shows affection and love for his children far more than he has to show anger or punishment.
The Scriptures even teach us that because Jesus died on the cross, God has put away His anger for our sins. He will express His wrath once more, and that is at the return of Yeshua. But it will not be at us. God is not angry with us! He will pour out His wrath on sin. People like Richard Dawkins who use their fame and influence to influence thousands of people away from the LORD, I feel sorry for. But His anger is not directed at us.
But a wise man, even one who knows His Abba Daddy is not angry, will still fear the LORD; he will still be afraid to transgress God’s holiness and His righteous ways. That is wisdom. In fact it is the beginning of knowledge. If there was one thing I could teach high schoolers and young adults, it is: first, fear God, learn His word and learn His ways, and then learn knowledge. Because knowledge profits a wise man, but does not profit a fool. The knowledge of a fool can even destroy him, but the knowledge of a wise man will be a blessing to him and to others.
2) Parents are another source of wisdom. Do not forsake the things your father or your mother have tried to teach you. They will ornament you as if you were wearing gold crowns and gold chains. In fact, in Pro 1:8 where it says, Do not forsake the law of your mother; the word “law” is variously translated as instruction, teaching, and law. The Hebrew word is torah. So can we see what the LORD intended Torah to be for us? It is the patient, loving, and gentle instruction and teaching of a father, a parent, to His beloved children. The enemy has lied to us about Torah, if we think it is the expression of God’s anger and wrath.
3) The third souce of wisdom is common sense. Verses 20 through the end of the chapter show that wisdom is constantly calling out in the open squares, to everyone who is going about their business. pleading for fools and simpletons and youths and everyone who is lacking in wisdom, to listen! Pay attention, and receive the wisdom that is waiting to be poured out on anyone who will listen. God has not locked up His wisdom somewhere and made it impossible to find. He freely pours it out on anyone who can be stopped long enough from the tyranny of busy-ness to spend a little bit of time reading His word, and listening to His voice.