Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction
Proverbs 1:23 – Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
Like many of you reading this, I have kids. And one of the most frustrating things about having kids is that they don’t always want to hear what you have to say, especially if you are trying to correct them or teach them something that you feel is important but they don’t. I find myself repeating the phrases, “You need to care about this, but you don’t.” and, “The reason you don’t listen to me is because you don’t respect me as your father.” Many times I end up throwing my hands up and letting them learn the hard way, even though it pains me to do so. But sometimes they actually stop and admit that they don’t know what they’re doing and ask me for help. They desire my instruction because they realize the knowledge that I possess (little as it may be), is greater than their own and they want that knowledge imparted to them. They don’t verbalize it quite that eloquently, but consciously or not, they have come to a place where they have a greater level of respect for who I am and what I know and can teach them than they did before that moment. And so we too should be that way with our Heavenly Father.
In Proverbs 1:7, God tells us that fearing Him is the beginning of knowledge. The Hebrew word for “fear” there is yir’ah (pronounced “year’- ah”). Although it certainly is used throughout the Old Testament to describe being afraid of something, it also has intrinsically within its definition having respect or reverence for something as well. For example, the reason you fear electricity is because you respect its power. It can kill you if you don’t handle it correctly. Let’s get back to knowledge though. If we want to have more knowledge, it starts with giving the LORD the proper respect and reverence that He deserves. And why wouldn’t this be where we would start if we want knowledge? Why wouldn’t we show reverence to the Creator and Sustainer of all things? He only knows everything! This is where we should always start when seeking knowledge. The second part of the verse calls us fools if we are not seeking this out. If you want knowledge from Him, you must acknowledge Him!
But what if that wasn’t what you did every time? What if you’re just like me and you did it wrong? What if instead of starting with the LORD, you started with your own way? Verse 23 is great news for us! If we turn and accept the LORD’s correction and heed to his instructions, He promises that He will pour out His Spirit on you and make it known to you what He does want you to do. If you’re a parent and your kid messes up but they come to you with a humble heart and admit they were wrong and ask if you would teach them the right way, wouldn’t that just bless your heart? Would we not gladly devote ourselves to instructing them in how to do it right? That’s the heart of our Heavenly Father as well. He wants to pour out His Spirit on you so that you have the power to do what it is that HE wants you to do.
May we always start with the fear of the LORD, but even when we don’t, may we always return to the father who wants to pour out His Spirit on you and make Himself known to you!
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