FOUNDATION FOR RIGHT PERSPECTIVES
Proverbs 1: 7 reads in full, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Knowledge as used here is more than an accumulation of information. It involves the ability to view that information with the right perspective and to use it for its proper end. Paul, for example, speaks of a knowledge that “puffs up” (1 Corinthians 8: 1) as well as a knowledge that “leads to godliness” (Titus 1: 1). Only the latter has the right perspective and proper end in mind.
Two people may possess essentially the same knowledge in the sense of a body of facts. One person views this knowledge as a means of acquiring position, power, or possessions, and uses it to that end. The other person sees it as a gift from God and as a stewardship to be used to serve Him.
Contrast two physicians, both with approximately the same training and skill. One fears God and earnestly seeks to use his expertise to serve Him by serving people. The other has no fear of God and uses his skill as an abortionist. Both doctors have the same information but not the same knowledge. Only the one who fears God has the right perspective, which leads him to use his information for the proper end.
Solomon says that knowledge begins not in learning a body of information or in acquiring various skills, but in the fear of the Lord. He is saying that the fear of God must be the foundation upon which knowledge is built. It is the fear of the Lord that gives us the right perspective and prompts us to use it for the right end. It is the fear of the Lord that should determine our fundamental outlook on life.
Our main goal in life should be to glorify God. That is the ultimate goal to which all knowledge should be directed. Regardless of how helpful an item or body of knowledge may be to society, if it does not have as its final purpose the glory of God, it remains defective. It is at best partial and to a degree distorted. It is like a structure without a foundation, a plant without a root.
Bridges, Jerry (2009-02-04). JOY OF FEARING GOD, THE (Kindle Locations 116-118). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.