The Beginning of Knowledge
Proverbs 1:7 (ESV) – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Sometimes the Scriptures say things that challenge how you think. The reason is because it defies conventional wisdom. Examples are everywhere in Scripture. There is not only more joy in giving than receiving, but God will provide more to those who give generously. Salvation is not earned or merited by good works; it is given by grace undeserved. There are many examples of this all over the Bible.
Our passage today provides one of those examples. We read in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Fear of the LORD is about acknowledging Him as the true God. When we align our lives with fear and reverence to the LORD, we listen and follow His commands. Wisdom comes as we learn to live under God’s design. It shouldn’t surprise us that Proverbs, which is a book about living with wisdom in God’s world, begins with a proverb about the fear of the LORD being the beginning of knowledge. In other words, if you want to truly prosper in the world, you need to live under the rules and commands of God. To row against the grain will bring strife and struggle.
The proverb goes on to say that fools despise wisdom and instruction. Here is the core truth: people who reject God and do not fear Him cannot truly gain knowledge and wisdom. This doesn’t mean they can’t know things. It doesn’t mean they can’t acquire some wisdom (because we can be wise if we live in alignment with how God made the world). It does mean we cannot have true knowledge about things in the world until we recognize the One that the world and everything in it belongs to. We don’t simply look at what we see on the surface to inform our views, but we listen to God’s Word.
Seek knowledge and wisdom by seeking the LORD. True knowledge comes from fearing Him and knowing His Word. Apart from Him, we become fools who live
according to our own wisdom.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why do we only have true wisdom and knowledge with the LORD?
- What does this text reveal about fools?
- How should this text inspire action on our part today?
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