Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 1:29
"Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord."
This verse deals with the reason why wisdom will not answer people when they are in the midst of their terrible consequences. This is the answer why people feel God is being unfair when He allows bad things to happen to them. Solomon tells us that wisdom has a reason for not answering. These people refused knowledge and ignored God's boundaries and God. They are reaping what they are sowing. They are understanding at a much more fundamental level that God will not be mocked. Life is not a blank canvas where you get to paint anything you want. God has built into the universe rules, boundaries, wisdom, and laws which we would do well to pay attention to.
This is the Hebrew word sani which means to hate or hold in aversion. In this case, those who are destroyed by their own foolishness are those who had an aversion to the learning, to skill development, and to the hard choices that were needed to build a righteous life. The rewards of life do not come at the front end but the back end.
This is the Hebrew word daat which means information and skill. The idea here is of raw data and skill development which are essential to existing wisely in the world. Some kids just want to do what comes easy. They don't want to learn. They don't want to practice. They don't want to keep learning. They just want to do what they like; what is comfortable at the moment. These kinds of choices will destroy you and leave you in a place that wisdom will not answer.
Now I must say that wisdom will answer when you have repented. But if you still have your hatred of real knowledge and your contempt for the wise choice then wisdom will not help you.
This is the Hebrew word bahar which means to choose, to decide. The idea is clearly that these people who are destroyed by their foolishness choose to ignore the warnings of the Lord, choose to run after selfishness rather than wisdom, and choose to not worship God and live in the boundaries that He has set.
Solomon saw in his day people making foolish choices that directed them toward problematic endings. He wanted those who read this book to realize that the majority of what happens to you is your choice. It is not controlled by another. It is not your destiny to live a miserable existence. You are making choices and if you make the wrong ones, there will be no answers when you are wrecked on the side of the road of life.
Make no mistake about it, you choose the fear of the Lord. You decide to listen to the Lord's voice in the Scripture and as He speaks to your spirit. It will be a choice to say no to what the world is wanting you to do and yes to the Lord's way. It will be hard to say no to the impulses of your flesh and yes to the Lord's promptings. It will take everything you have to resist the attacks of the Devil in fear, doubt, lies, accusations, etc., and stand firm in the truth of God. No one else will choose for you. You must choose each day: “Will I live for the Lord today or will I live for myself?” Wherever you are and no matter how far you may have strayed from the path of righteousness, you can choose to follow the Lord and do what He wants today.
fear of the Lord
This is the combination of the word yare Yahweh which means the fear of the Lord or reverence for the Lord or being afraid of the Lord. The idea of reverence is constantly brought up, but this grows out of the realization of the power, might, majesty, and knowledge of God. There is a sense that those who turn away from the reality of God because they want to do their own thing will find themselves wrecked on their own accomplishments. Life doesn't work unless it is God's way. We are constantly trying to add to God's way to invent our own way. There is no fear of God before our eyes, so as a culture we experiment with new forms of marriage, with legalizing get-rich-quick schemes, with sexualizing everything, with ignoring the power of advertising and music to tempt and seduce and destroy, with ignoring personal responsibility as the basis of a healthy society and healthy self-esteem.