The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom & Knowledge

Proverbs 1: 7 The fear of the Lord: the beginning of knowledge; wisdom and instruction fools despise.

Why? The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge because moral life begins with reverence and humility before the Maker and Redeemer. [1]

The failure of our Moral Life

Moral life doesn’t begin with our human discipline, new year resolution, because our instincts are flawed and sinful in nature. Our default is leaning towards the sinful part. No matter how we decide to be moral, our heart is not that, and sooner or later, it will show up and we will crack. That’s why a man is a prisoner of himself. There is just no way out. You can see how statistics tell you that no matter how much jail reform hopes to achieve, we see crimes and evils are constantly committed from the news we read on a daily basis. In fact it got worse. Lying, deceit, cheating, greed, cover up, manipulative, lust, mocks, kill, etc., are all our native language. That’s what happened to the first global children in the world, the kids of Adam killed one another, quite unbelievable, but that’s the truth of how human beings have fallen from God since the original sin by Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. Of course, there are also a lot of good deeds done by human race, the natural instincts put there by God in creation hasn’t completely eroded. This is called the common grace. However, the depravity of mankind is overwhelming. Even that goodness of mankind is not sustainable. The only way to turn to our creator who is the big God, the God goodness, righteousness, holiness, kindness, and love.

How do we get real wisdom & knowledge ?

Reverence & Humility

Wisdom is to how to apply knowledge. Knowledge is great, but on its own, it can be a double edged sword, good and devil. We need wisdom on how to use knowledge.

As described above, man has fallen and we will always shun away from the ways of wisdom if we are left to our ow. But the way to get moral life is reverence and humility before God and our Redeemer. Reverence is deep respect, awed by God. A deep admiration of who God is. There is no point to accumulate and gather ton of knowledge, but with carries no awe or reverence towards the One from whom all wisdom & knowledge come.

It is the awe of God that pricks our hearts when we do wrongs. You see when David sinned, he cries out “To you O Lord have I sinned”.

David, after committed adultery with Bathsheba, being confronted by Nathan the Prophet, he broke down and wept before the Lord, recognizing he’s sinned against the Lord. He sinned against Bathsheba & her husband, but he said against the Lord only he has sinned, what he means that’s the overwhelming top person he’s sinned against. This is how much his awe, reverence, and humility towards the Lord is. That’s what God is looking for.

Psalm 5 1Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.

Not about how legalistically you keep yourself moral, like the Pharisees, but rather how much does your heart carry that reverence and humility towards God. Calvin says without piety, no one will be able to come to God. Piety is  is devotion to God.

How do we cultivate a sense of awe, reverence and humility towards God?

Worship is the best way. Pour out your heart to God and sing your hearts out to him in adoration, worship.

Meditate on psalms & proverbs a powerful book. It will add all these to your life.

Prayer is an absolute. No just about asking for things. But a time of repenting, confessing, and pouring your heart to him daily, and pray back the psalms & proverbs back to God. This will change you.


[1] ESV Crossway Commentary Proverbs 1

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