“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom—and the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.”
When it all comes down to it, “knowing Him” is the key to it all (Phil. 3:10).
Every generation has craved this sage ability to foresee and properly apply. Yet, today’s Manna is not touting conventional earthly wisdom, which is basically the right use of truth that’s basically rooted in our (or others’) experience.
No, true wisdom comes from Above. And, as King Solomon—the wisest mortal who ever lived—points out, it is “the fear of the Lord that is the beginning of wisdom.” The Hebrew word “yir ‘ah” is used here for “fear” and basically means “moral reverence, deep respect, dread, awe, etc.” Thus, it’s that which springs from Who God is and what He has promised, which is the essence of “pleasing” or “saving” faith (Heb. 11:6).
Think of it:
Knowledge puffs up (I Cor. 8:1a). The accumulation of facts. . .one’s mental acumen, ability and agility. . .insightful application of such knowledge. . .is pretty intoxicating. Earning doctorates in a giving field, becoming an “expert” and writing numerous books is pretty heady stuff; yet, so often, it does little to engender “the fear of the Lord.” Instead, it produces pride and “worldly wisdom” (James 3:14-16).
True, God-given wisdom is humbling—for the recipient realizes it comes from God (James 3:13). Likewise, such wisdom is “pure, peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and hypocrisy. And, its fruit is righteousness that specializes in sowing peace in our relationships” (James 3:17-18).
Solomon went on to write “And the knowledge of the Holy is understanding.” Again, such knowledge is more than the accumulation of facts. Anyone can know an inordinate amount of Scriptures and still die and go to hell (James 2:19; Mt. 7:21-23). Instead, the knowledge that’s referred to is “intimate, experiential knowledge.” Just as “Adam knew his wife and she bore him a son” (Gen. 4:1)—a physical union—so is our “knowing Christ and the power of His Resurrection” (Phil. 3:10a) a spiritual union rooted in “abiding in Him” (Jn. 15:1-7) and “walking in His Spirit” (Rom. 8:1).
Thus, our daily quest of “knowing Him, i.e., ‘the Holy (One)’,” is essential in our being transformed into His Image through the process of sanctification. By continually “looking unto Jesus” (Heb. 12:2). . .being “transformed by the renewing of our mind” (Rom. 12:2) as we “cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing EVERY THOUGHT unto the obedience of Christ” (II Cor. 10:5). . .we begin to better understand what’s going on around us and in us. But, this “knowledge/understanding” doesn’t make us haughty; it makes us humble. And, like the full head of wheat at harvest time, we bow our heads and whisper, “O Lord, my God, how great Thou art.”
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated July 7, 2010