The Beginning of Knowledge

Date: PM
Text: Proverbs 1:7
Psalters: 401, 14, 146, 304
  1. True knowledge.
    1. ?Knowledge? is the mental conception of things, of reality (different from the ability to gain and retain knowledge, IQ).
      1. There is only one knowledge: biblical.
      2. Our text emphasizes that true and right knowledge of God, the creation, and man (myself) requires the fear of Jehovah.
        1. There is a great difference between knowing about God and knowing Him!
        2. To know God (creation and self) is only gained from God?s revelation of Himself in the Scriptures.
    2. ?Wisdom? is the goal of knowledge; it is the use of the knowledge in the best way to attain the highest end.
      1. Wisdom always involves a correct heart knowledge of God, which is given in regeneration (Col. 3:10).
      2. Wisdom takes what God has revealed and applies it to every aspect of life (the fool rejects reality).
      3. So we seek to give real, solid teaching of the objective truths of the Bible ? in home and school, and in church.
    3. ?Instruction? speaks of the way we gain knowledge, usually by teaching.
      1. The specific word used emphasizes that instruction is specifically in the way of discipline, correction and chastening.
      2. It requires self-discipline to attend a voluntary Bible study, to prepare or to apply.
  2. The essence of knowledge, wisdom, and instruction is the fear of Jehovah.
    1. This fear of God is not terror, but it knows His greatness while rooted in love and profound reverence.
      1. It is an ever increasing correct understanding of God, His character, and His works and ways.
      2. It is a pervading awareness of His presence, so one lives as before His eyes and face.
      3. It is a constraining sense of willing obligations I owe Him as His creature and especially as His child.
    2. This fear of Jehovah is the ?beginning? of knowledge, i.e., the first in the sense of root, the essence.
      1. One?s intellectual grasp of things is only accurate when see it in relationship to God, the Creator, the Ruler, the Judge.
      2. All knowledge and wisdom is really nothing but what God speaks and what we speak after Him.
    3. Take away the fear of Jehovah and you have folly/deception, not ignorance.
      1. Natural man?s knowledge only increases his folly, for he is wise in his own conceit (Prov. 26:5).
      2. Then the knowledge of natural man only increases his guilt.
  3. Conclusion: let us seek always to grow in correct knowledge of God and to teach the next generation its importance.
    1. Accompany all instruction with the prayer that He who calls the things that are not as if they were will work in the instructed.
    2. Receive instruction (old and young) seeking right knowledge and true wisdom, not despising instruction.