The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge:
[but] fools despise wisdom and instruction.
The Root of Knowledge – William Arnot, D. D.
The “fear of the Lord” implies a right state of heart towards God, as opposed to the alienation of an unconverted man.
Though the word is “fear,” it does not exclude a filial confidence and a conscious peace.
▪︎ What God is inspires awe;
▪︎ what God has done for His people commands affection.
See here the centrifugal and centripetal forces of the moral world.
▪︎ “Knowledge” and “wisdom” are in effect synonymous — the best knowledge wisely used for the highest ends.
▪︎ The “fear of the Lord” is the foundation, “knowledge” is the imposed superstructure.
He who does not reverentially trust in God knows nothing yet as he ought to know.
His knowledge is partial and distorted.
The knowledge of God …
▪︎ His character and plans,
▪︎ His hatred of sin,
▪︎ His law of holiness,
▪︎ His way of mercy
… is more excellent than all that an unbelieving philosopher has attained.
It is a knowledge …
▪︎ more deeply laid,
▪︎ more difficult of attainment,
▪︎ more fruitful,
▪︎ and more comprehensive,
… than all that philosophers know.
Men speak of the stupendous effects which knowledge, in the department of mechanical philosophy, has produced on the face of the world, and in the economy of human life; but the permanence of these acquisitions depends on the authority of moral laws in the consciences of men.
The moral encircles and controls the economic in the affairs of men.
The knowledge of God is the root of knowledge.
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