Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge. Proverbs 1:7 nlt
Ellen opened her mailbox and discovered a bulky envelope with her dear friend’s return address. Just a few days prior, she’d shared a relational struggle with that friend. Curious, she unwrapped the package and found a colorful beaded necklace on a simple jute string. Attached was a card with a company’s slogan, “Say It in Morse Code,” and words translating the necklace’s hidden and wise message, “Seek God’s Ways.” Ellen smiled as she fastened it around her neck.
The book of Proverbs is a compilation of wise sayings—many penned by Solomon, who was acclaimed as the wisest man of his era (1 Kings 10:23). Its thirty-one chapters call the reader to listen to wisdom and avoid folly, starting with the core message of Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Wisdom—knowing what to do when—comes from honoring God by seeking His ways. In the introductory verses, we read, “Listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck” (vv. 8–9 nlt).
Ellen’s friend had directed her to the Source of the wisdom she needed: Seek God’s ways. Her gift focused Ellen’s attention on where to discover the help she needed.
When we honor God and seek His ways, we’ll receive the wisdom we need for all the matters we face in life. Each and every one.
Where do you go when you need wisdom? How can you keep God’s words in the forefront of your mind?
God, remind me that You’re the Source of the wisdom I need.
To learn more about the book of Proverbs, visit ChristianUniversity.org/Proverbs.
The book of Proverbs—particularly chapters 1–9—contains advice from a father to his son “for gaining wisdom and instruction” (1:2). The key element of and foundation for wisdom is found in verse 7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” The importance of “the fear of the Lord” is seen in the fact that this phrase is found eleven times in the book of Proverbs (and the challenge “fear the Lord” appears another four times). So, then, what is “the fear of the Lord”? The Hebrew word (yirah) translated “fear” doesn’t mean to be afraid of God. Rather, it means “awe” or “reverence”—an attitude of heart towards the Creator that generates a desire to obey Him. This is where wisdom begins—embracing the greatness of God and desiring to honor Him.