The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 (ESV)
According to this verse, knowledge begins with an acknowledgement of the existence of God, rather than acquiring it by experience or education. Webster defines God as, “the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe.”
I imagine the “Creator and Ruler of the universe” would be a reliable source for knowledge. Such a Being would also inspire a degree of awe. I know if I were to stand in the presence of such a Being – despite his goodness – I would tremble.
The second part of the verse addresses fools, or rather defines them – those who despise wisdom and instruction. Nothing is gained by avoiding or rejecting the advice of someone with greater experience or understanding. In fact, it is often detrimental to do so.
Questions to think about:
- Does the holiness, power, and justice of our Mighty God cause you to tremble as you examine yourself before him? (Consider the Ten Commandments and Jesus’ sermon on the mount.)
- Do you embrace the Son of God who reconciles you to his Father by his sacrifice and pours his Spirit of righteousness on you?
- How do you respond to instruction and criticism?
- Do walls of defense and resistance instantly go up or do you humbly examine yourself to find any truth within?
The Proverbs are considered ‘wisdom literature’ and convey contrasts and consequences of behavior and attitudes. In the first few Christian centuries it was widely accepted that Christ was the incarnation of Wisdom. (“Introduction to Proverbs.” ESV Study Bible: English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2011, pp. 1132.)
This month I will post 31 Days of Proverbs, sharing significant verses from each of the thirty-one chapters in the book of Proverbs. Please read along with me and share your own insights in the comment section.
I pray we will gain knowledge and understanding as we seek the Lord’s guidance through his word.
Happy New Year!
“God.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/god.