We live in a world that is full of knowledge. According to Buckminster Fuller, creator of the “Knowledge Doubling Curve,” until 1900 human knowledge doubled approximately every century. By the end of World War II knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today, due to various technologies changing at different rates, it is a little more difficult to chart. But on average, human knowledge is doubling approximately every 13 months. It has become quite obvious that the increase is exponential — knowledge is exploding. One would think that in the face of such advances, there would be an equal rise in peace, contentment and quality of life. But that assumption does not ring true to anyone having to cope with real life today. Why with such a preponderance of knowledge are there so few answers to life’s questions?
It is because it is the wrong kind of knowledge – it is man’s knowledge. Concerning human ability, the prophet Jeremiah wrote, “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Despite knowing so very much about the physical environment we live in, we are largely incapable of finding answers to life’s most pressing questions – answers that would produce peace and contentment.
We need God’s knowledge to truly succeed at life and there is a particular way in which that knowledge is gained. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). The knowledge of God and the real solutions found in it are only attained in the fear of God. Solomon was not referring to a servile fear of unspeakable punishment from a God who is imagined to be harsh and unloving. He is, rather, referring to filial fear — the reverence of a small child to his or her loving father. It’s expressed in humble, reverenced affection and devotion to God our Father. The evidence of that fear is not in despising His wisdom and instruction but in embracing His law as our very own with the attitude of a happy and thankful little child.
The answers to life’s questions are found in the fear of the Lord. Concerning those who fear God and find His knowledge Solomon says, “For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path” (Proverbs 2:6-9). This world’s knowledge and wisdom is foolishness to God. But God’s knowledge will direct our steps, shield us from the false wisdom of men and preserve our way. Life’s seemingly elusive answers are truly attainable in fear of the Lord.