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Proverbs 1:7, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Anticipating Proverbs 1:8, My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Anticipating Proverbs 1:9, For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
Job in the 28th chapter of the book of Job asks the question:
Where shall wisdom be found?
Job starts to answer this question by listing places where wisdom is not found.
He says it is not found in the land of the living.
It is not found in the depths and the seas say it is not found anywhere in them.
Gold will not purchase it, neither can silver be weighed for the price thereof.
The precious onyx, the beautiful sapphire, the crystal and jewels of fine gold are no match for it.
Coral and pearls of the sea and rubies are far below the price of wisdom.
Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? Job cries!
But Job cries not for long because he knows the source of wisdom, because he knows God.
He knows the God who understands the way and the place of wisdom.
He knows the God who looks to the ends of the earth and sees everything under the whole heaven.
He knows the God who weighs the wind and who weighs the waters by measure.
The God who commands the rain and makes a way for the lighting of the thunder.
Job concludes that wisdom comes from the God he worships.
Job concludes that the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.
Proverbs 9:10 says that, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
Our proverb for today is, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Wisdom and knowledge are under girded by the fear of the LORD.
The fear of the LORD is a constant if wisdom and knowledge are to be gained.
Without the fear of the LORD wisdom is not had, and knowledge is not known.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge means that the fear of the LORD is the foundational principal upon which knowledge is known.
Knowledge cannot be known by those in whom there is no fear of the LORD.
God does not provide knowledge to those who are not standing upon this foundational principal.
Therefore God says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
The world promotes much as knowledge, but the knowledge that Solomon is talking about in the Proverbs is the knowledge of God.
All other knowledge, without the knowledge of God, is simply vanity.
In this context vanity is defined as that which has no eternal value.
According to our proverb the knowledge of God is only given to those who fear God.
Solomon in the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes concluded that the whole duty of man was to fear God and keep his commandments.
Fearing God will cause a person to yield his will to that of God's will.
It is God's will that we keep his commandments.
Yielding to God's will, requires an act of humility and requires a humble spirit.
Peter admonished in 1 Peter 5:6, Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
What is humility but a fear of the Lord.
A recognition that you are nothing and that God is everything.
A recognition that anything that you have is from the hand of God.
A recognition that anything that you are is because God made you to be what you are.
True humility is only possible because of the fear of the Lord!
Yielding to God is evidence of a humble spirit and evidence of the fear of the LORD.
Only a humble spirit will receive knowledge of God.
As David wrote in Psalm 34:18, The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.
What does it mean for the LORD to be nigh?
It means that those of a broken heart and a contrite spirit are allowed to know God. God is near to them.
God reveals himself to those of a humble heart.
But as we learn in James 4:6, ....God resisteth the proud, which means that the proud do not know God.
If God resists, you can be sure that no one prevails against God's resistance.
God does not reveal himself to the proud.
The knowledge of God is kept from the proud.
Only the fear of the LORD opens the door to the knowledge of God.
Therefore the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge means that to those who are humble before God, God will continually reveal himself to them.
The fear of the LORD is continual with the humble.
The LORD is nigh unto them. Knowledge of God is known to them.
Isaiah 57:15, For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
And those with whom God dwells God reveals himself, but only to those with whom God dwells.
He does not dwell with the proud.
He resists the proud and will not allow them in the high and holy place.
Matthew 11 records the prayer of our Lord who said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
God reveals himself to babes but hides himself from the worldly wise and the worldly prudent.
He hides himself from those who only need themselves.
He does not intrude into lives that are self sufficient.
But He reveals himself to that one who comes to him as though he were a little child.
A little child, humble, knowing that he has nothing to offer and in need of everything.
These are those who come unto him, the meek and lowly in heart and they will learn of him.
Only those who come with this reverence for God will learn of God.
These are they who come in the fear of the Lord that God may reveal to them knowledge of himself.
Luke records in the 10th chapter of his Gospel that Martha had a sister called Mary.
What was Mary like and what was Martha like?
We can be sure that Mary was a woman who feared God.
Mary was a humble woman who chose to sit at the feet of Jesus in spite of the probability that her sister fumed in the kitchen about what she only saw as the lazy spirit of her sister Mary.
But what was happening to Mary as she sat at Jesus' feet.
Luke tells us that she heard his word.
She learned of him.
She was meek and lowly and Jesus Christ revealed himself to her.
Her fear of the Lord brought to her instruction in the knowledge of God.
Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Why had she chosen that good part?
Why had she chosen to sit at the feet of Jesus?
It was because she feared God and knew that she had nothing to offer God but God had everything to offer her.
And Jesus promised that that good part would not be taken away from her.
That knowledge of him that she learned while sitting at Jesus' feet was hers and would never be lost from her.
Martha had no such promise because she was cumbered about with much serving.
Knowledge of the Lord is not gained by serving.
Serving is a outflow of knowledge of the Lord.
Knowledge of the Lord is gained by fearing the Lord and allowing that fear to place yourself at the feet of Jesus Christ and hearing his word.
Serving is a product of believing his word.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
David wrote in the 14th and 53rd psalm what the fool said in his heart.
He did not say that the fool said this out loud for others to hear, only that he said it in his heart.
We do that don't we? We talk to ourselves in our heart.
Titus was told what the fool said in his heart by one who knows what a fool says in his heart.
The Holy Spirit searched out the heart of the fool and told Titus to write Titus 1:16 so that we would know not only from David but by Titus. Titus wrote:
They (fools) profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
The fools mouth professes but his heart confesses that he wants no God in his life.
This confession is revealed in his works.
"I know God", the fool says from his mouth but from his heart we're told he speaks "No God for me".
"I have no fear of God and do not wish him in my life."
And in so doing he shows his despising of wisdom and instruction.
He wants no light from God because the principle of his life is that of living as though there were no God.
He says in his heart "No God for me" and fashions his life totally as if God did not exist.
He refuses the law of God, the order of God, the restraint of God and the boundaries of God.
His works declare what his heart said. No God for me!
Look at his works and you may read his heart!
God will let him despise wisdom and instruction as he takes his place with the children of wrath!
There is no hope for the fool, for knowledge of God only comes to those who fear the LORD.
You can't have one without the other!