“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” (Proverbs 1:7)
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 9:10)
The book of Proverbs goes straight to the core: real knowledge and wisdom have their source in “the fear of the Lord” (see also Job 28:28). Only if we know the Lord, can we understand the world and ourselves correctly: as creatures of a loving and holy God.
We did not develop spontaneously, but were purposefully created. We are not gods, but creatures that owe Him obedience and worship. The world around us is not the result of some random natural forces, but the design of the Most High. Knowing this shapes our whole worldview.
Reverence for our Creator is the foundation of moral life as well. Knowing His will should shape the way we behave. God’s instructions enable us to live well.
So, although we can find much wisdom by looking around and thinking through deep questions, real understanding is only possible if we fear God. Not any god, but the LORD God who makes Himself known in the Bible (see e.g. Exodus 34:5-7).
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