|From the Church on the Hill
by D. Eric Williams
Pastor, Cottonwood Community Church
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10).
For nearly two years we have suffered a barrage of misrepresentation, half-truth and out-right lies from civil authorities, medical “experts,”, business leaders and pop-culture gurus. While the prevailing COVID narrative is a prime example of this, the deceptive words and actions of the ruling elite have disrupted nearly every area of life. To make things worse, many Christian leaders have abandoned the touchstone of absolute truth and jumped on the bandwagon of hysteria promoted by the ungodly oligarchy. Rather than examine all things in light of God’s word, some Christians have surrendered to the lies, claiming the godly thing to do is to submit to the authorities – n o matter what. The truth is, it is high time Bible believing Christians said enough is enough.
The Bible tells us true wisdom is impossible apart from a fear of Yahweh. This does not mean someone who is born again will have in-depth knowledge of all things; it means he or she will have the tools necessary to examine and accurately evaluate the claims of so-called experts in any field. It means Bible believing, Christ honoring Christians will have the intellectual tools necessary to actually “do the research.”
The Scripture cited at the beginning of this article is one of several claiming the “fear of the Lord” as the foundation for wisdom (cf. Proverbs 1:7, 2:5, 15:33, Psalms 11:10). It is not popular to talk about fearing God but the Bible is clear; without the fear of the Lord it is impossible to have wisdom. This does not mean those who deny God are incapable of discovering truth. It does mean their understanding and application of truth will be compromised.
The first principle touching on the fear the Lord is acknowledging his existence. Indeed, only fools say in their hearts, “there is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; none of them does good! (Psalms 14:1, cf. 53:1). To deny God is the height of stupidity. It is impossible to consistently, accurately interpret fact apart from a belief in God as the creator and sustainer of the universe. Thus, the fear the Lord must begin with the acceptance that God is the author of all things. He has brought everything into being and there is nothing that can withstand his will. Truly, Yahweh is a God to be feared. He is not some sort of a celestial Santa Claus but is the Lord of the armies of heaven and will not be mocked. Without a proper respect and awe for God no one will ever acquire wisdom.
However, this is just the beginning. To fear God drives one to know him. The truth that God creates and sustains all things must impel one to learn about him. And the way we come to know him is, first, through his written word and secondly through his creation. Truly, we must interpret creation in light of his written revelation. In any case, a hunger to know Yahweh is a characteristic of a fear of him.
The fear of the Lord also pushes us to seek right relationship with him. To believe God is the creator and master of all things leads to the conclusion that a proper relationship with him is imperative. Failure in this aspect places us in eternal peril. Therefore, the fear the Lord compels us to seek God the Eternal Son. It drives us to repent from our sins and submit our life to Jesus. If we truly fear Yahweh we will have relationship with him in Jesus the Christ.
We will return to this topic next week.