Fear of the Lord is the start­ing point of wis­dom

The Covington News - - RELIGION -

Wis­dom…sounds good doesn’t it? You want to be wise, don’t you? So how do you get there?

Re­ally, it’s just like any­thing else. If you want to be a pro­fes­sional base­ball player, first you need to learn how to catch and throw and hit a base­ball. And you can’t for­get how to do those things. If you want to be an ac­com­plished mu­si­cian, first you need to learn to play the in­stru­ment. And then prac­tice it.

So much is pos­si­ble. It’s just a mat­ter of whether you are will­ing to do what it takes to make it hap­pen.

So if you want to be wise…what does it take? God’s Word for to­day tells us: “The Fear of the Lord is the be­gin­ning of wis­dom” (Proverbs 1:7).

So, what are we do­ing to be wise? Are we on the right path? This verse tells us that it all starts with fear- ing the Lord.

Now, fear­ing the Lord is not just be­ing afraid of what he might do to us. It isn’t be­ing scared of him. The Bi­ble makes that clear.

The fear of the Lord is that nat­u­ral feel­ing we get when we re­al­ize who God is and what he has done for us, and it in­cludes re­spect and rev­er­ence. Ev­ery­thing de­pends on this fear of the Lord. Our text calls it the be­gin­ning, re­ally, the start­ing point, of wis­dom. And this be­gin­ning isn’t some­thing we leave to move on to more ad­vanced things. This is the base for ev­ery­thing else, just as the pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian or ath­lete never for­gets the basics, but keeps prac­tic­ing them. We can never ad­vance in wis­dom or knowl­edge with­out this build­ing block of awe and amaze­ment at our God. So what­ever we want to do — God says, it all starts here. I know schools, par­ents and so­ci­ety to­day do all they can to get rid of that build­ing block. And it shows, doesn’t it?

The Proverbs say again and again, fools re­ject grow­ing in the fear of the Lord. So what does that say about ev­ery­one read­ing this who chose not to make it to a Bi­ble Study this week — or didn’t make sure that their kids were in Sun­day School? “Fools,” is what God says.

Or how about any­one of you who didn’t take time each day this week to have a con­ver­sa­tion with God in his word and prayer, and share God’s word with your fam­ily — each day — “Fools.” You took the time to eat, didn’t you? Maybe you even took the kids to a sports prac­tice, right?

And that kind of folly, the rest of the book of Proverbs says, causes noth­ing but prob­lems here and noth­ing but suf­fer­ing in eter­nity.

So how do you fear the Lord?

It hap­pens nat­u­rally when you fo­cus on his word. Awe and re­spect for some­one grows when you re­al­ize that they would do and have done any­thing and ev­ery­thing for you. It is here we learn what he has done — so much more than just the stock phrase — he died for my sins. He planned our sal­va­tion. He pro­vided all th­ese ways for us to grow in it — he gave us Sun­day School teach­ers when we were kids and he gives us Sun­day School teach­ers now.

Maybe he gave you a par­ent who loved you enough to force you to do things you didn’t like. He gave you his Son, who kept reach­ing for us when we were push­ing away. The more we study his word, the more we see what he has done and does do for us.

And when we spend this time at the foot of the cross — we un­der­stand what it means to have that re­spect, honor and awe at God. He loved you that much. It’s then we start to live.

Ev­ery­thing else from science to cal­cu­lus, from chores to rest to com­pe­ti­tion — all takes on new per­spec­tive, be­cause we re­al­ize that ev­ery­thing is based on this fear of the Lord.

So think about that as you plan your life for this com­ing school year. Make time for your kids in Sun­day School, and your­self. En­roll in our new Bi­ble In­for­ma­tion Class start­ing next week. And give your lit­tle ones the best start you can imag­ine. Think about some­thing like our church’s preschool that is now en­rolling 2, 3, and 4-year-olds for a great year of grow­ing in God’s Word, even as they are grow­ing in their so­cial in­ter­ac­tion and school readi­ness.

JONATHAN SCHARF

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