A Dose of Wisdom
Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7
The Hebrew word used here for fear suggests reverence and awe. A person seeking wisdom is willing to bow down to God simply because of the awe and respect they feel for Him. This phrase also suggests total dependence on God.
I am reminded of my relationship with my earthly father. My Daddy was a wonderful man whom I loved with all my heart and respected so much. He was the perfect example of a godly father. Highly respected in our community, he was a fair and wise man. Yet I knew my boundaries with him. I had a proper fear of him. Not the kind born of bad experience (unless you would call the holy discipline of spanking ‘bad’), but rather awe and respect for him. I loved him with all my heart and desired to please him. This is the ‘fear’ of which the Bible speaks.
Our culture does not teach this kind of fear or respect, therefore, it is a concept many people do not fully understand. Respect means that I trust the other person and esteem them, or hold them in high regard. It also means that I am willing to be submissive to another person. Oh yes, the 'S' word--submit. To respect another causes one to desire to please that person and perhaps even emulate them.
As Proverbs 1:7 tells us, a fool does not feel the need to respect God and therefore lacks the wisdom and knowledge that comes only from God. In fact, the fool chooses to go the opposite direction from wisdom.
I like this quote from Walter Lippman:
"It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf."
The fool is like a deaf audience. He has no way to gain wisdom because he doesn’t understand or respect the way to wisdom, which is the Lord. The fool refuses to submit to God because he doesn't trust God.
When I fear the Lord and walk before Him in respect, He makes me so much wiser than I should be.