“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Prov. 1:7)
The book of Proverbs is clear on its intent, which is to impart wisdom for godly living. Many of the Proverbs are from King Solomon, who was known as the wisest man alive when God gave him the gift of wisdom.
Proverbs 1 begins by stating we are to use this book for gaining wisdom and instruction on how to live, understanding words of insight, and for giving knowledge and discretion to those who are young in their faith. While many of the earlier sections focus on providing wisdom to those who are young and “simple” (Hebrew “pethiy” meaning foolish, gullible, seducible, etc.), the rich teachings apply to all of us, regardless of our level of spiritual maturity.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…” Many of us try to approach knowledge the other way around, believing we can study and store up knowledge that will result in a successful and prosperous life. While this may be true in a worldly sense, the issue at hand is that worldly knowledge won’t save us.
Verse 32 states “For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them.” Earthly knowledge will neither save us nor steer us in the right direction. Thus the beginning of true knowledge is preceded by a genuine fear and reverence of the Lord. As we acknowledge who God is, He will impart wisdom to us and provide us understanding that can only come through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:6-16) Verse 33 goes on to say, “but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
So how do we begin to walk in the wisdom of the Lord? “Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings.” (v23) Wisdom begins with fear of the Lord and repentance. When we humble ourselves to the point of acknowledging that our ways and understanding are sorely deficient in comparison to God’s, then so begins true knowledge.
May the Lord bring all of us to a higher place of truth and understanding, that we may be drawn closer to Him, walk in His ways, bless others, and bring Him glory! Amen!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov. 3:5-6)
[From December 1, 2018]