The Fear of the Lord
Solomon wrote: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). Too often when we consider this saying and the remainder of this chapter, we end up in a discussion of what the “fear of the Lord” is and tend to miss the main thrust of the section. Certainly there are some varying aspects of the word “fear” from holy awe and reverence to downright dread depending upon the circumstances, but what is the main point? It’s this: one’s reverential fear for the Lord God will lead him/her to pursue the knowledge of God and seek His wisdom and instruction in how to live one’s life. Those who have this “fear of the Lord” will do this. Those who don’t are called fools.
In our scripture, wisdom is personified and is depicted as moving among the crowds of people who are going about their daily affairs. She cries out throughout the city, calling for people to turn from their “simple-minded” and “naive” ways of thinking to consider her words of counsel. She is like a street preacher who is trying to warn the masses of their need for the wisdom of God and of the calamities which will befall them because they have refused to listen to her. And it seems that very few want to listen to her words.
She has a very dire warning for those who refuse her offer of counsel and reproof. She says that when the storms and distress come upon them because of their refusal to follow her counsel, she will just laugh at what is happening to them. It will be like an “I told you so.” The wisdom of God and the counsel of His word will be standing in judgment upon the people whose “complacency” and desire for “their own way” have brought calamities into their lives.
How true this is of so many today. Not only do they reject God’s word but God as well! In so doing, they invite all sorts of trouble into their lives. We see this daily. May we ourselves follow Wisdom’s counsel and also be diligent to teach God’s word to others. In so doing we will “live securely” and help others do the same.