This title comes from Proverbs 9:10, which reads, “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” The importance of that proverb cannot be diminished by any effort of mankind. It is superior to man’s finite limitations. But what is the “fear of the Lord,” anyway?
It is both the reverence and the respect for God, the Creator, the Sovereign of the Universe, the One who has no beginning nor ending, the Alpha and the Omega, as Jesus claimed it. It is the reverence for this God of love, grace and mercy, and respect for this same God of justice and truth.
Knowing those two sides of God’s character is the foundation of our understanding of His relationship to His creation, and to mankind, in particular.
It faces off against fallen man’s wisdom. In logic, of which my thinking is mere nibbling on its edges, two basic approaches to the truth of any subject rests in the terms inductive thinking and deductive thinking. My understanding is that inductive thinking starts from the inside, so to speak, and looks outward to the results. But deductive thinking starts on the outside—with a preconceived theory or idea—and searches for truth to give it foundation. Thus, we can see how “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” From that, then, we can begin to understand how the latter part of that verse fits in: “And knowledge of the Holy One IS UNDERSTANDING!” (capitalized for emphasis.)
The greatest standoff between these two approaches to truth, no doubt, is Creation versus Evolution. Public schools in America, funded by government funds, have legal backing to teach the Science of Evolution, but not Creation. Evolutionists seem to be fixed on three targets that are claimed as support for the evolvement of the universe and its inhabitants:
- Billions of years that allow natural “development.”
- The discovered universe of planets and stars “way out there.”
- Mankind’s transition from animal to modern man.
But when one asks, openly or quietly within himself, “How did all these details, especially of the human body and its functions, come together with such obvious requirement of intelligence,” science has no meaningful answer.
Stephen Jay Gould, who found out the answer when he died in 2002, formulated a very impressive label for that situation when he described the issue as “Punctuated Equilibrium,” meaning, apparently, ‘We have no idea how the link, or gap, between animal and man was solved.’ Thus, as we must conclude, it takes a lot more faith to believe in evolution than it does to believe in God.
Again, “Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
The contrast between the two approaches to the discovery of truth is very clear with Creation versus Evolution.
How, then, does this “inductive versus deductive” thinking show up in regard to understanding of the Scriptures? False doctrines arise from a person’s erroneous concept of God. It starts with a preconceived idea that has an incorrect understanding of Scripture, or has no Scriptural basis at all. When one verse is taken out of context, or without consideration of the whole counsel of God’s Word, it will wreak havoc on a claim of truth.
There are some basic principles we can learn from the attributes of God that give us immediate understanding. From Scripture we learn that:
- God cannot lie nor change His position on good and evil.
- He does not contradict Himself.
- He does not act unjustly toward mankind.
- He does not invade a person’s right of personal choice; thus, we do not become robots.
- He offers the GIFT OF SALVATION to mankind and does everything He can within His own stature of character that man will accept that gift of salvation with its promise of everlasting life.
- He hates evil and does not tempt man to sin. In order to accomplish His eternal plan for the ages, He allows evil to act out its own desires in a given direction of His choosing. When Satan is allowed to create evilness, God justly punishes those who conduct the evilness.
One of the great examples of this in modern times is the Nazi holocaust under the evilness of Adolph Hitler. In His foreknowledge, God had looked ahead with the promise of restoring the Jews to their own land with internationally recognized sovereignty—promised by the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. The Jews had been scattered among the nations from the destruction of Jerusalem and their temple in 70 A.D. Much like that in the time of Moses, when it came time for God to deliver the Hebrew people out of Egypt, He had to bring the people to a willingness to leave their embedded lives in foreign lands and head back to their own land. May 14, 1948, was the date of that accomplishment, and on May 9, 1945, after Hitler committed suicide on April 30, 1945, Germany surrendered unconditionally.
Searching out all the details of God’s accomplishment by allowing that evil to occur is obviously too heavy on the heart to be pursued. The establishment of the sovereign state of Israel was the beginning of the last days of this age of grace, as the Scriptures seem to indicate.
The previous statements are not without Scriptural precedent, and following are some quotations that speak to those points listed above, and this, in itself, is testimony of God’s unchanging nature that the whole Bible is consistent with these revelations of His character:
Numbers 23:19 – “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
Hebrews 7:24 – “But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.”
Proverbs 8:13 – “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.”
Psalm 103:6 – “The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.”
Psalm 33:5-6 – “For the word of the Lord is right, and all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.”
Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Revelation 3:10 – “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.”
Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
2 Timothy 2:13 – “If we believe not, yet He abides faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” (KJV)
Psalm 53:1 – “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.'”
There is another gem from the Book of Gems, the Holy Scriptures—yes, even two, that speak volumes to a heart that is longing for that personal, intimate walk with God:
2 Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Hebrews 11:6 – “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
It would take an eternity to search out all of the magnitude of the riches of God’s favor for those who love Him and seek Him. Let’s not turn away so soon, for we can see the Day approaching.
“Knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”