The Boy to Man Book, Chapter 1: The Fear of the Lord
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
~ Proverbs 1:7
A man got lost in the English countryside, and stopped to ask a local farmer how to get to London. “Well,” said the farmer, “If I was going to London, I wouldn’t start from here.”
If you are going to get where you want to go in life, you have to start at the right place. And the right place to start is to have a strong relationship with God. Building a strong relationship with God is the single most important thing you will ever do in your life.
When the book of Proverbs talks about “knowledge,” it’s talking about having the only kind of knowledge that’s important to be successful in life.
Now you will run into a lot of people on your way to becoming a man who will tell you they have the knowledge you need.
But if you want to have the only kind of knowledge that counts, the kind of knowledge that will make you a strong, mature man, you have to start at the right place. And the place you have to start is with the “fear of the LORD.”
When the Bible talks about the “fear of the LORD,” it does not mean that we have to be afraid of God like we would be afraid of a bad man. It means simply that we must have a deep respect for God and honor him more than anyone or anything else in the universe.
Having a strong relationship with God is much more important in life than having the right friends, marrying the right girl, getting the right education, or getting the right job.
The word “wisdom” in the Hebrew language literally means “skill.” God wants you to have the skills that are necessary to build the kind of life you want. And to acquire that wisdom, that skill, you must begin with the fear of the Lord. There is no other place to start. If you start anywhere else, you will not get where you want to go in life.
As you get older, you will run into more and more people who will despise the wisdom of the Bible. This will be especially true if you go to college. Some of these people will be highly educated, and they will be quite proud of the fact that they have rejected God and his truth. And they will try to get you to believe that only people that aren’t very smart still believe the Bible.
You may have teachers in high school and you will have professors in college who will ridicule the Scriptures and ridicule anyone who believes them.
You must make up your mind right now that you will not be fooled by these people. The mark of a fool is that he is naive and will believe anything he is told. Do not let these people who think they are so smart deceive you. They do not have your best interests at heart. People who are easily swayed are fools. Don’t be a fool!
You must never forget that the real fool is the man who rejects God, not the man who honors him.
Never, ever forget that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”
Father, I pray that my son will always remember that fearing you, revering you, respecting you, honoring you, is the beginning of knowledge. Make him strong when others try to fool him into rejecting you and your word. Make him strong in his faith that he may acquire the full measure of the knowledge that will make him a mature man. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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