Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
“You are so foolish!” Have you ever heard that? Said it? Lived it? A fool, by definition, is a person who acts unwisely or imprudently. Synonyms include: idiot, ass, blockhead, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, imbecile, cretin, dullard, simpleton, moron. OUCH. I can remember a time or two (hundred) looking into the mirror and barking many of those words at myself. How do we get ourselves into fitting that description?
We lack the proper “fear of the Lord.”
But what is this fear? Are we to cower and hide in the corner, fearing what our Heavenly Father will do to us when we mess up? No! The famous pastor, W.A. Criswell, explains it this way:
“…it is the reverential awe and respect of the Lord God Almighty, who holds the imponderables of life and death, of peace and war, of destiny and all eternity in His hands. It is a looking up to God for understanding and enlightenment. It is the finding in God the key to all that we see in this universe – the whole manifestation of creation, and those great moving wars and passions, and feelings that we feel in ourselves – when we look to God for the key to the meaning of them all. And when you throw that key away, that reverential awe and respect of God, what he calls “the fear of the Lord,” when you throw it away all you have left is a mass of unintelligible facts and figures. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no destiny, it has no end – it’s just a jumbled mess of this and that and the other.”
You can work for the B.S. then the M.A. and then the PhD…but without the fear of the Lord all you have, in the end, is information. Romans chapter one reminds us that most “smart” people choose to worship the created order rather than the Creator…and their lives and souls suffer the consequences. Do you look for God behind all the facts and figures? Do you seek His Truth amongst the truth claims of man? Do you see Him as the Ultimate End of as a means to an end? Having a proper fear of the Maker of Heavens and Earth will unlock True Knowledge and Godly Wisdom. Putting Him on a shelf (or on a necklace) or limiting Him to your Sunday’s and Small Group meetings will bring about days of foolish living. The choice, of course, is yours.