“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).
I never quite understood how fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Why not love of the LORD? or Honoring the LORD? Why fear?
How is fearing the LORD a good thing?
The key to understanding this truth lies in the second clause – “but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Fear of the LORD doesn’t mean being terrified of the LORD. Fear of the LORD refers to one’s awesome respect to the LORD. Fear of the LORD has more to do with how we honor and defer to the LORD.
Because we are finite creatures, there is much we do not know and much we do not understand. But God is infinitely wise. God is omniscient. God knows all truth. Because of that, we humbly come before God as finite creatures to listen and obey God.
The Greek philosopher Epitectus wrote, “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”
Fools come before God with pride. Fools already think they know what is best for them. And, because fools think they already know what is best for them, they are unable to learn the truth.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom because we humbly approach God as finite creatures to hear from God the truth regarding life.
That is wisdom. Knowing that we do not know, and knowing and obeying the One who does know.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man” (Luke 6:22).
Blessed – when people hate you Blessed – when they exclude you Blessed – when they insult you Blessed – when they reject your name as evil
Who in the world would say such a crazy thing?!?!
Who was Jesus talking to?
This rarely gets much air time. What’s Jesus getting at? These things don’t seem like blessed things at all.
When a disciple chooses to live a God-honoring life in an ungodly world, those who choose to live an ungodly life will oppose you.
That’s how it was for Jesus. That’s how it is for those who follow Jesus.
Thank God that life of a follower isn’t all about being hated, rejected, and excluded. But if there is no reaction from an ungodly world to our presence, there’s probably something wrong with the way we’re following Jesus.
Blessed are those whom the ungodly world hates, excludes, insults, and rejects because it probably means you’re following Jesus whom the ungodly world crucified.
“Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (John 13:17).
I wore a suit for the first time in a couple of years this past weekend. I officiated a wedding and needed to wear a suit.
Here’s what I discovered when I went to go try on my suits. Now, mind you, all my suits were custom tailored. They fit me like a glove when I had them tailored. But as I tried them on Saturday to get ready for the wedding, I realized every single one of them were too big. I’ve lost about thirty pounds since I had those suits made.
Here’s the thing: I knew for decades I needed to lose weight because of my health issues. The doctors would always tell me, “You need to lose weight.” I’ve always known that. But, knowing those things did not lead to living those things. And, I never lost weight.
So, what changed?
This is embarrassing.
A few years back, one of my doctors threatened to quit me. She told me to bring Helen to the next appointment, and at that appointment, she lit into me and told me in front of Helen, “If you’re not going to listen to what I tell you to do, go find another doctor.”
That got my attention. So, I started walking more regularly, and I changed how I eat.
It wasn’t that I didn’t know that I needed to exercise more and change my diet. I knew that. I just didn’t do it. And I wasn’t changing.
Knowing the truths of God is fine, but we are blessed when we do what God’s word says.