Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

A house without a good foundation is or soon will be just a pile of lumber and brick. The foundation to all knowledge that will matter in eternity is the fear of the Lord. This is where knowledge starts.

What is the fear of the Lord? It’s often defined as something like “reverence for God.” But what does that mean? It’s not simply a quivering, incapacitating terror. It’s far more than just not using His names as swearwords, going to church, or bowing a lot.

We can learn a lot about a thing from its opposite. The fear of man appears in Proverbs as a handy opposite to the fear of God. Since the fear of man appears to be caring more what other people think than what God thinks, then the fear of God must involve caring more what He thinks than what anyone else thinks. Put another way, the fear of man is letting what other people think or might do influence what you do.

So the fear of the Lord would be this: letting what God thinks or might do influence what you do. This is the beginning of knowledge – having our lives be governed by the awareness of God’s identity, power, desires, and actions. If we shrug off what God wants, or don’t care enough what God wants to find it out and follow it, we don’t have the fear of God. But if we care more what God thinks than what anyone else (including ourselves!) thinks, then we have the fear of God. Then we have a foundation to build the knowledge of our lives upon.

Since He is the Creator of all things and made the physical and spiritual rules by which all realities work, it’s sheer folly to begin to build knowledge on any other foundation. Pay attention to God, and your pursuit of knowledge is off to a good start.