Proverbs 1:7 is considered the key verse to the Book of Proverbs. Like many of the proverbs, it is written in the form of a couplet [in this instance, a contrast between two opposing truths].
Proverbs 1:7 – “The fear [dread; reverence; terror] of the LORD [Jehovah; Eternal, Self-Existent God] is the beginning [first; chief, principal thing] of knowledge: but fools [silly; immoral] despise [have contempt; scorn; reject] wisdom [discernment; understanding] and instruction [reproof; correction; rebuke; discipline].”
Briefly stated, the “fear of the Lord” [lit. the worship and reverence of the LORD Who is Eternal, Self-Existent, and Sovereign God] is the starting point and foundation for knowledge and wisdom. A wise man seeks Truth, but it is the nature of silly, immoral fools to reject absolute truths and refuse to hear or heed instruction.
Biblical wisdom begins with acknowledging there is a God Who has revealed Himself in His creation (Genesis 1:1; John 19:1; Romans 1:20), in His inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:15-17; John 17:17; Romans 10:17) and in the person of His Son Jesus Christ (John 10:30; 14:9). A wise man fears and reverences the Lord and accepts by faith He has communicated His will to man through His Word and Law. “The fool”, however, “hath said in his heart, There is No God…” (Psalm 14:1).
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith