PROVERBS 1:7: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
OBSERVATION: What is the key to gaining knowledge? In a day when information abounds, when you can “Google” any topic and find an unending string of “hits”, where does one start in order to gain knowledge? And, with the multitude of opinions offered on a given subject, how can knowledge even be obtained?
Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. He was not the wisest because he mastered the most degrees, or read the most books on a given subject. Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived because the Lord gave him a depth of wisdom that the world has never seen since. And even then, Solomon was not insured that he would find knowledge. In fact, he wrote an entire book about his endeavor to understand the meaning of life. This book is Ecclesiastes. In it we find Solomon’s never ending search that ultimately brings him to his final conclusion that he writes to his son,
- “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Stubborn fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
No one will ever find knowledge, not even the wisest man in the world – unless they begin with a fear of the Lord. This is not the quality of being afraid of God. Rather, it is the quality of respecting and honoring God in all things. Solomon defines what this means throughout the book of Proverbs. A wonderful study can be done on the many verses that begin with – “The fear of the Lord is…”. In the third chapter he exhorts his son,
- “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.” (Proverbs 3:5-8 NKJV)
We respect and honor the Lord when we consider Him first in everything we do and ask. Jesus exhorted us to “…seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness..”. This is the key to all knowledge. Without considering God first, without consulting His Word first – we will end up leaning on our own understanding and picking the wrong path. True knowledge always begins with the fear of the Lord. True knowledge always acknowledges God, and seeks the truth from His Word, before taking the first step. Anything else is simply the exercise of a stubborn and foolish heart.
Each morning I must begin my day by reaching for my glasses. I am nearsighted, and would be totally unable to navigate through the day, complete my work, and drive my car – without my glasses. I must put them on and look at everything “through” the corrective lenses that enable me to see properly. In our spiritual lives, our corrective lenses are – the fear of the Lord. When I put the “fear of the Lord” first in my heart and life I am humbled, drawn to worship, moved to repentance, renewed by His Spirit, and directed by His truth. I learn the awesome truth,
- “For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” (Psalms 36:9 NKJV)
Heavenly Father, this morning, help me to walk in the “fear of the Lord”!
In Jesus Name!