51. Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. —Proverbs 1:7
In memorizing 100 key texts of the Bible, notice that four of them come from the book of Proverbs (Prov. 3:5-6; 1:7; 15:1). We could just as easily have selected all 100 verses from this book because it’s the most practical, everyday, commonsense book in Scripture.
Think of the book of Proverbs as God’s Twitter feed to the human race. With Twitter, you have 140 characters for your message or to sum up what’s going on in your life. These little messages are short bursts of communication. When you read a tweet—a Twitter message—you’re reading a burst of truth about a person’s life, activities, observations, or philosophy, summed up in 140 characters or less.
That’s just what we have in the book of Proverbs: God’s giving advice to us in short bursts of communication, usually 140 characters or less per verse.
Proverbs is God’s divinely designed self-improvement course, His textbook for learning how to wise up and live. The 915 verses in Proverbs represent God’s wisdom for the hundreds of situations we step into each day.
Think of Proverbs as portable wisdom—heavenly rules for earthly living.
God’s wisdom has little to do with grades on a report card but everything with getting high marks in life. It isn’t just data accumulation or brainpower. It is putting our knowledge to work in everyday life. Thumb through the thirty-one chapters of Proverbs, and you’ll find them packed with advice about working hard, eating wisely, watching how much we drink, guarding how much we speak, avoiding unhealthy friendships and immoral sexuality, treating people kindly, handling money well, and making good decisions in matters great and small.
The whole theme of Proverbs is summed up in today’s memory verse, Proverbs 1:7. This verse is the key that unlocks the whole book, and that’s why it’s worth memorizing. There is one common denominator to all the Proverbs, a single thread that runs through each verse: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Each of the Proverbs either tells us: (1) how we will respond to life if we have a healthy fear of the Lord, or (2) how we will mess up if we don’t.
The fear of the Lord is not unhealthy, dysfunctional, or debilitating fear. It means an appropriate respect, reverence, awe, and wonder. A. W. Tozer wrote: “The fear of God is… astonished reverence. I believe that the reverential fear of God mixed with love and fascination and astonishment and admiration and devotion is the most enjoyable state and the most satisfying emotion the human soul can know.”
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
It is one of life’s strange turns that scholars ransack libraries looking for wisdom, while, perhaps, the janitor has found it long ago. —Vance Havner
100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.
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