Carpenters use a tape measure and a level. Explorers have a compass. And a master chef has a series of measuring units. Each of these people understand that before you embark or begin something important, you must have a standard or a beginning point by which all things are measured or compared.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said that when it comes to knowledge and understanding, the beginning starts with the fear of the Lord:
Fear of the lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
- Proverbs 1:7 NIV
In our western context that might seem odd.
After all, we believe in a God who loves us, not one that we should fear.
The context of fear that Solomon is referring to is not so much about being afraid as it is about a reverence or respect for God. In other words, "fear" relates to putting God in His rightful place as the supreme being of the universe and creator of all.
In our modern age when truth is understood to be whatever feels right, this is crucial if we're going to remain on track and not get lost in life.
Truth, all truth, begins with God. He is our measuring stick to determining what is right and wrong. He is the true north to help us find our way. And only by honoring God’s words will we find fulfillment.
As we begin this series on the book of Proverbs, I encourage you to daily read and reflect on the writings of Solomon. Through his words, inspired by God, you will find wisdom for living that will ground you in a world of confusion.