“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”
Proverbs 1:7, NIV
Who is God? Well, to begin with, He’s the Creator of all things. All power and authority are His. Everything in the universe is a fruit of His creative genius. There’s nothing in the whole of the universe which didn’t begin with God and wasn’t made by Him. He does, therefore, deserve our wonder, awe and respect. It would be an act of gross stupidity not to recognise that He knows more than we do about absolutely everything – not just about the universe that He’s made – but about living life itself.
Then, God is pure love. The Bible doesn’t just say He decided to love us, but that his whole being is LOVE. Love is His very nature! And having created the universe, He completed His creative vision by making mankind in His own image and likeness, because He wanted to share His love with us in relationship. But man used His God-given free will to turn away from the One who made the stars, and the whole Universe. In the words of our scripture for today, mankind despised God’s wisdom and refused to respect the discipline of being obedient.
Throughout Scripture we read about the ‘fear of the Lord’ as being absolutely vital to living a successful and blessed life. It was in ‘holy fear’ that Noah was said to have built the ark (Hebrews 11:7). He desperately wanted to do it right. But the fact is, if we don’t live in the daily reality of holy fear, which means trusting in God more than we trust in ourselves, then we’ll always make our own choices without reference to the God who made us, and often those choices will be foolish ones.
None of us likes to be shown up as having been a fool, but if we choose to live life our own way, without reference to God or His way, then, in the end, we’ll be seen to have been fools. The psalmist tells us that it’s the fool who says in his heart that there’s no God (Psalm 14:1). Choosing to live life, without reference to Him, is an act of massive stupidity.
To come before Him in holy fear, acknowledging Him for who He is, and choosing to submit your life to the authority of the living God and His Word, is the most sensible thing anyone can ever do. As our scripture for today says – it’s the beginning of wisdom.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You cared enough about me to give me Your Word. Forgive me, Lord, for the many times I’ve chosen to trust in my own wisdom instead of Yours. And help me, Lord, to always look to You as the Captain of the ship of my life. I choose to live in holy fear of the only living and loving God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.