Be Still Know
READ: Proverbs 1:7 NLT
‘Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.’
You need to be careful with the book of Proverbs. It’s very easy to read too much of it and get indigestion! It’s a book which needs lots of time for careful reflection. And this is the wisest and most crucial verse of all. True knowledge begins with knowing God personally. It’s our relationship with the Creator of the Universe that enables us to gain access to real knowledge that will help us to live our lives to the full.
I wonder what you understand by the expression “fear of the Lord”. I have been brought up to think of God as my friend, my companion and the one who is always looking out for me. Fear might seem to clash with that sort of understanding of God. But it doesn’t need to. We need to remember that the God who offers us his friendship is not like other friends that we have. None of my other friends have created the Universe. None of them have all wisdom, power and authority. Our Friend God is awesome in every way and so when we think about him and share our lives with him there needs to be a tinge of fear – not a fear which oppresses us but one which means that we show him total respect and reverence. He’s a very, very special friend.
This verse tells us that if we really want to understand life, we need to worship God. As we open our lives to him he reveals the truth to us about ourselves and the world around us. He will never impose his knowledge on us and, as the writer observes, there will always be plenty of people who despise wisdom and discipline. The writer of the Proverbs writes very bluntly and he describes such people as fools, a word of which he makes great use throughout this amazing book. You may choose to live the life of the fool if you wish. Or you can sink to your knees in worship and let God be your teacher. That’s the way of true wisdom.
QUESTION: What does the expression “fear of the Lord” mean to you?
PRAYER: Great God of Creation, help me to open my whole self to you so that I may receive your wisdom and knowledge. Amen.
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