Humility, The True Knowledge of God
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Knowledge. In society today knowledge is pursued. It is honored. It carries with it certain levels of privilege and even status. We can attend institutions of higher learning, specialize in an infinite amount of concentrations, and hang our accomplishments on our walls as a testament to how much we think we have learned. The truth is that knowledge and the acquisition of knowledge can be one of the largest obstacles in accepting God and even in our walk with the Lord it can be a hindrance.
The dictionary defines knowledge as:
Acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation
Unfortunately in the world, the value is put on the facts, truths and principles of man, not God. So man studies what man has originated. Man investigates what man has originated. When enough study and investigation are completed, they call that person "knowledgeable." But what about God? Jesus tells a story about a certain rich fool who had been blessed by an abundant crop but had no where to store it. Instead of reflecting to God, he decided that he would build larger storehouses and sit back on his abundance and "eat, drink, and be merry." What he did not know is that very night his life would be required of him. Jesus referred to him as a "fool." What was his greatest failure? Certainly his solution was logical. If you have so much crop, it makes sense to build a bigger storehouse. Certainly there is nothing wrong with planning ahead. That again would only be logical; knowledgeable. The problem is that he did not consider God in any of it. He did not recognize that the very crop he was blessed with was from God. He did not return any portion to God. He did not give any credit to God. Lastly, when he was planning what to do, he did not include God in the plans. God was not even an afterthought.
That is how it is for people in the world. They believe they are self-made. They believe that what they earn is due to themselves and not God. There are many keys to the Christian life but one constant has to be humility. The acceptance that everything you have is from God. You might have planted the crop but he provided the seed! You may have tilled the soil but he provided the sun and rain! You may have harvested the grain but He provided the increase! You may provide the labor but He provided the opportunity! This lesson is lost on those who remain knowledgeable only by the standards of man.
The standards of God however state that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. If you wish to even begin seeking knowledge, you must fear God. Why fear? The proverb is speaking to acknowledging that God is in control of everything. The rich fool would have been wise to realize that God provided the abundant crop and if He wished, He could take it back, or even demand his life. The fear of God would have let the rich fool keep God first in everything.