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  • Chad Werkhoven

Proverbs 1:7 - Start Here

You can't truly know anything until you first fear the Lord.


Proverbs 1:7 (NIV)

7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,

but fools despise wisdom and instruction.


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 6: The Difference Between Canonical and Apocryphal Books

We distinguish between these holy books

and the apocryphal ones,

which are the third and fourth books of Esdras;

the books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Jesus Sirach, Baruch;

what was added to the Story of Esther;

the Song of the Three Children in the Furnace;

the Story of Susannah;

the Story of Bell and the Dragon;

the Prayer of Manasseh;

and the two books of Maccabees.

The church may certainly read these books

and learn from them

as far as they agree with the canonical books.

But they do not have such power and virtue

that one could confirm

from their testimony

any point of faith or of the Christian religion.

Much less can they detract

from the authority

of the other holy books.



We often get the process backwards. We commit ourselves to Spiritual Disciplines like daily Bible reading, weekly church attendance, and regular prayer so that we will come to fear the Lord more and more.

We're set straight here as we're introduced to Solomon's proverbs. We're told that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. In other words, you must fear God before you truly know Him (or anything else, for that matter). In order for your Spiritual Disciplines to be truly effective, you must root them in the fear of the Lord.

In some senses, this reasoning seems circular, like the classic chicken/egg scenario. How can you fear - a word that means everything from feeling terror & dread to having awe & reverent respect - something that you don't already know? Don't you need to know God first before you can fear Him?

But you know God instinctually. All people do, even the ones who think they don't

In theology, we call this phenomenon sensus divinitatis, meaning that as an image bearer of God, you have an innate awareness of divinity since God Himself has written His law upon your heart. Beyond that, every aspect of creation majestically points to God as its creator.

Certainly your knowledge of God must be built up and developed. But unless you begin that pursuit by fearing the Lord - submitting yourself to God's authority, presence and control - you'll never gain one iota of true knowledge.

Some people have massive amounts of learning, but since they have no fear of the Lord, they despise true wisdom and instruction and are nothing more than fools. On the other hand, when the Holy Spirit regenerates your heart so that you fear the Lord, you desire to know God as He is and worship Him in the manner He's commanded.

Dig Deeper

Relationships predicated on fear generally are not healthy. Although it is good for you to you to (in some senses) be afraid of God, the word 'fear' here means so much more.

This week we're learning that the Apocrypha, which are ancient books which form sort of like an uninspired appendix to the Bible, can help us better understand things the Bible teaches. The first chapter of the Wisdom of Sirach is a good example. It helps explain what it truly means to fear the Lord:

11 The fear of the Lord is glory and exultation,

and gladness and a crown of rejoicing.

12 The fear of the Lord delights the heart,

and gives gladness and joy and long life.

13 Those who fear the Lord will have a happy end;

on the day of their death they will be blessed.

So basing your relationship with God on fear is one of the healthiest things you can do! It glorifies and exalts (lifts you up) and leads to gladness, rejoicing, delights and happiness!

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who is the source of all knowledge and wisdom;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Thank God that His Spirit has caused you to fear Him, and pray that the subsequent knowledge and wisdom you gain will cause you to fear Him more and more so as to increase your gladness, joy and happiness;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Acts 17


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