Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Solomon’s second proverb in verse seven is another strategically placed truth intending to motivate the reader to read on. In his first proverb (verses 5-6), Solomon suggests that a wise person will keep reading in order to keep learning. In his second proverb (verse 7), Solomon suggests that a God-fearing person will keep reading in order to keep learning. The person who makes his or her way through the Pages of Proverbs manifests wisdom as well as the fear of the Lord. The person who gets off the Proverb Plane early manifests foolishness as well as irreverence for God.
A lack of respect for God will naturally lead to a lack of interest in God. A lack of interest in God will lead to a lack of interest in learning about God. A lack of interest in learning about God will naturally lead to a lack of knowledge. The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.
A sacred reverence for God is the genesis of knowledge – it is the foundation for knowledge – it is the starting block for knowledge. A healthy fear of God naturally leads to an interest in God. The fear of God’s power will create an appetite for God’s personality. Anyone who sincerely recognizes and respects God’s supreme position in the universe will seek to KNOW God better so as to avoid the consequences of provoking His anger. Anyone who sincerely appreciates the size and scope of God will on some level want to KNOW Him better so as to escape His wrath. Therefore, the person who ignores or disregards an Almighty God will have no desire to learn what pleases Him or what displeases Him.
A healthy respect for power always breeds knowledge. A healthy appreciation for might engages the mind.
Consider the Mighty Niagara Falls. The average person who sees and hears the incredible amount of water rushing over the edge appreciates and respects its power. That respect immediately engages the mind with curiosity – with grave curiosity. Not only does the eyewitness want to know how many gallons are pouring over the falls and how far down they fall, but he or she wants to learn about the river that leads to the falls. The mentally engaged eyewitness wants to know what water to avoid so as to preserve his or her life. The fear of the mighty Niagara is the beginning of knowledge of the mighty Niagara.
This principle applies to any natural wonder, creature, entity or machinery that possesses great power. The electrician who recognizes and respects the power of electricity will want to learn about electricity so as to choose his actions around it carefully. The zookeeper who recognizes and respects the power of great apes will want to learn about them so as to choose her behavior around them carefully. The mountain climber who recognizes and respects the power of the slopes will want to learn about the terrain so as to choose his conduct on the mountain carefully. The heavy machine operator who recognizes and respects the power of these big machines will want to learn about them so as to choose his performance carefully.
The fear of anything or anyone with power is the beginning of knowledge. This is especially true for an Almighty God. The fear of THE LORD is the beginning of knowledge. The man or woman who reveres the power of THE LORD will want to learn about HIM so as to choose their moral behavior carefully. Without that reverence, wisdom and instruction contained in Solomon’s Proverbs will be viewed as a waste of time and attention. Therefore, an irreverence of God should be seen as foolish and that it will lead to even more foolishness.
The Book of Proverbs is not a book for the philosophical person; it is a book for the God-fearing person. In order to attain knowledge from this book, we don’t need to possess any educational degrees; we only need to possess the fear of God. Solomon’s second proverb essentially declares the truth that knowledge will come relatively easy to the God-fearing soul.