“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
If you want to know the Lord you must fear Him. The first thing your need to know about the Lord is that He should be feared.
The word used for "fear" can mean anything from shear terror to a reverential respect for Who He is and what He can do. In fact, fear is evidence that you really do know His holiness and power.
Sheer terror is the result of knowing you will have to face Him at the Judgment without being prepared. That is a good reason to fear! You don't want to fall into the hands of an angry God.
Fearing God in this way should drive you to humbly confess your sin and repent of them. That leads to a reverential fear of God, like a Father rather than an Angry Judge.
Those who fear God keep His commandments:
"Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!" Deuteronomy 5:29
Those who fear God serve Him:
"Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name." Deuteronomy 10:20
"But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you." I Samuel 12:24
"Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling." Psalm 2:11
Those who fear God are blessed:
"Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!" Psalm 128:1
"Praise the LORD. Blessed are those who fear the LORD, who find great delight in his commands." Psalm 122:1
"The fear of the LORD [tendeth] to life: and [he that hath it] shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil." Proverbs 19:23
Those who fear God hate sin:
"The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate." Proverbs 8:13
"Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." Proverbs 3:7
As evidenced in these verses the fear of God primarily in two ways, the fear of how God can hurt you or the fear that you will hurt God. How do you fear God?
There are a lot of things to know! We live in a world that is in perpetual information overload. Knowledge is a good thing! It has been said that "Knowledge is power". But our text makes it clear the first and best thing to know is the fear of God!