When someone says that something is the “key” to everything, it usually is not. We tend to think too much about what we think. However … I do want to share something with you that I truly believe “is” the KEY to everything.
Two of the most successful men who ever ruled a nation were a father and son. Both of them had the KEY to everything.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10
We’ll go into more depth about what was behind that amazing claim in the next part of our study, but I want to introduce you to what King David believed was the KEY to everything – the FEAR of the Lord. David feared God from an early age and it gave him great wisdom that prepared the way for him to become a wise and powerful king.
“So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely. And Saul set him over the men of war, and he was accepted in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants … And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the LORD was with him … Then the princes of the Philistines went out to war. And so it was, whenever they went out, that David behaved more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name became highly esteemed.” 1 Samuel 18:5, 14, 30
King David’s son, Solomon, also wanted to be a wise king and asked God to give him an understanding heart to judge the people of Israel, to discern between good and evil.
“At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, ‘Ask! What shall I give you?’ And Solomon said: ‘You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted. Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?’ The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: ‘Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice, behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.” 1 Kings 3:1-12
Discerning between good and evil is what everything is about in our life. Go back to the beginning. What did God say to Adam in the Garden? “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17) What did Adam do? “She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.” (Genesis 3:6) What happened? “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked.” (Genesis 3:7) What did God do and why? Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.” (Genesis 3:22-23)
Wisdom is discerning between good and evil and choosing to do good rather than evil. The KEY that opens the door to that wisdom is “the fear of the Lord.” Was Solomon a wise king? “And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.” (1 Kings 3:28) Solomon was a wise king, at least during the early years of his reign. Here are some of his thoughts about what he knew about fearing God.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility.” Proverbs 15:33
As wise as David and Solomon were during their generations, they were not first. Here are the wise words of Job about the KEY to wisdom.
“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:28
As wise as Job was, and as David and Solomon were, there is another Who was and is so much wiser. His Name is Jesus.
“There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. His delight is in the fear of the LORD, And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, Nor decide by the hearing of His ears; But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, And faithfulness the belt of His waist. ” Isaiah 11:1-5
Notice that Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son of God, “delighted” in the FEAR of the Lord. Do you find that interesting? The Spirit of the Lord that rested on Jesus 2,000 years ago and will rest on Him again when He returns to earth is called three things in Isaiah 11:
- Spirit of wisdom and understanding
- Spirit of counsel and might
- Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord
The FEAR of the Lord is the KEY to everything.
We’ll see why and where it takes us in the next part of our study.
In Christ’s Love and Grace,
“Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”