Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 9:10
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
The truth contained in this one proverb is so profound. Do not miss this.
The word fear is the word yare which means the emotion of fear, being afraid, reverence and awe, and formal religious worship. Too often we assume that what is being talked about in these types of passages is only reverence and awe or formal worship. There is a need to realize that the word fear is used for a reason. Reverence grew out of the word fear for a reason. The beginning of wisdom is when a person understands how awesome and terrifying the Lord God, the Supreme Being of the Universe, is.
Our society has lost its understanding of how big God is and, in many cases, His existence at all. We believe that we are the biggest and baddest creatures on the planet and in the universe.
What Solomon is saying in this proverb is that you are beginning to go down the road to wisdom when you embrace the idea that there are consequences to all actions that come from an absolutely Almighty God. There is reason to be fearful. There is reason to tremble. There is reason to be giddily grateful when you have done what He wants and He rewards you.
Living within the fear of the Lord is like living in the spotlight of God. As long as you are in the spotlight, then the blessing and grace of God is upon you. If, however, you abandon the place where the spotlight shines and run into the darkness, there are consequences and results that occur to those in the dark. To live in the fear of the Lord is to live voluntarily in the spotlight. It is to embrace wisdom and righteousness and prudence and counsel. It is loving and enjoying and pursuing the triple-win solutions of wisdom. It is also being afraid and worried to disappoint God or to wander outside of the arena of His blessing and grace.
In our day and age and cultural proclivities, we do not like to talk about actually fearing God or that He will bring people into judgment or that He allows the consequences of people's choices to rain down upon them; but that is the testimony of the Scriptures and it is the way that life really works. If you move away from wisdom, there are consequences for folly.
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding
This truth is so central to analyzing what happens to us. God is the major connection point for all that happens. So to understand or grasp the connections between things, one needs to understand or know God.
This truth also brings up what is sorely lacking in the Christian realm in our present day. Average Christian people do not know Christian doctrine. They do not know basic facts about God and Salvation, about Jesus Christ, about the Holy Spirit, about Judgment Day, about Heaven and Hell and Mankind. It is the knowledge of these truths that allows a wise person to grasp what is happening and why it is happening in the world. Take for instance the nature of man from a Christian point of view. According to the Bible, mankind is created in the image of God and endowed with certain traits, characteristics, and abilities that echo God's traits, characteristics, and abilities. Mankind is supposed to act like God would as a steward of this planet. He has within him or her a nobility born of his/her creation in the image of God; but because of the fall of mankind into sin, through our first parents Adam and Eve, mankind also has a sin nature which is dominant in their being – a selfishness that pushes to the forefront of who they are and damages their reasoning ability.
Therefore, mankind is noble but also base. He is capable of wonderful things that echo God and also capable of abominable things that scream selfishness. It is both of these truths that are needed to understand the world in which we live. Some have tried to say man is deep down only good; others have tried to maintain that deep-down mankind is only evil continually. But knowledge of the Holy One through the Scriptures gives us a complete picture of the world in which we live and God who created it all.
This is why it is tragic that almost everyone has a completely inadequate understanding of a Christian worldview. It is a thorough-going Christian worldview that will explain and allow understanding of what is taking place around us.