In Part 1, we discussed the first half of Proverbs 1:7. In this installment, we will discuss the second half. Remember, the road to obtaining knowledge begins with deep respect for the one true God. It is impossible to acquire the necessary knowledge for a happy prosperous life if you do not respect the Lord God and His instructions. (For more on this topic, read Are You Living?) Respect for God should lead to obedience to His word and will. God’s word is a well of knowledge that can be accessed by obedience to it. Only a fool would reject a well of knowledge.
What is a Fool?
The Hebrew word translated into fools means to be perverse. Perverse means willfully determined or disposed to counter what is expected or desired. We must understand this definition in context of the verse. This verse is about spiritual knowledge and understanding. Solomon asserts that reverence toward God is primary. A fool operates contrary to this understanding and therefore operates contrary to the law of an infinitely wise God.
David explains this in Psalms 53. He writes, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Yes, fools reject the very source of knowledge. They convince themselves that there is no Creator and therefore cut themselves off from true knowledge. Paul says it this way: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Rom. 1:22). As they reject the existence of God, they claim to be wiser than believers, but God through Paul says they have actually become fools (simpletons in the Greek). (Look at the wealth of knowledge in this world and yet all of man’s knowledge is ineffective at solving the world’s problems.) Remember, this is not just an issue of intelligence; it is an issue of willfulness. Fools deliberately are contrary to God and His word. If you build on the wrong foundation, what you have built will not stand (Matt. 7:24-27). The foundation of a fool’s knowledge is built on sand.
Paul goes on to say, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Rom. 1:25). We live in a time where it has become more acceptable to honor creation and not the Creator. This is perversion! Remember, a fool is perverse, willfully determined to counter what is expected by God. God tells us not to worship His creation in His law (Deut. 5:6-10), but the fool is deliberately contrary to it.
The Attack on Real Knowledge
Much of accepted scientific theory is based on the reasoning of fools while scientists who assert intelligent design are shunned and isolated. Unfortunately, those deliberately contrary to God and His word dominate the education system and use it to cultivate the attitude of a fool into the younger generation. Young people are trained to value the creation to the point of worship, rejecting the possibility of a Creator. Godly morality is suppressed by teaching moral relativity. Consequently, each upcoming generation becomes more lawless than the previous one, rejecting the idea that God’s law is moral and right.
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.” (Ps. 53:1)
Iniquity is lawlessness. Lawlessness is a direct consequence of rejecting God and spiritual knowledge. Jesus Christ prophesied that lawlessness would increase in the end times (Matt. 24:12). We live in a time where sin is broadcasted in pride rather than shame. Prideful sin coupled with technology has led to exponential growth in destructive behavior. We live in a very dangerous time. We must maintain deep respect for God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. We must cherish the deep things of God; His word and wisdom.
Contending for the Faith
We must be very cautious in our attitude towards God. As mentioned in the Old Testament and reiterated by the Lord Jesus Christ in the gospels we must “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” (Matt. 22:37). Having any other attitude will eventually lead to being a fool, a person willfully contrary to what God expects. And what does God expect? God expects us to walk in His ways and to repent when we fall short. Remember, Jesus preached that we repent and believe the gospel. And the parables He gave concerning the gospel included belief (faith) and character (actions).
Constantly examine yourself. Make sure that you maintain reverence for God in your heart and hold fast to His word. This is the beginning of knowledge! To do anything to the contrary is to prove you are a fool.
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3)