The key phrase in the Book of Proverbs is found in at least 18 references. (1:7, 29; 2:5; 3:7; 8:13; 9:10; 10:27; 14:2, 26-27; 15:16, 33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; 23:17; 24:21; 31:30). It’s also found in Job 28:28 and Psalm 111.10. Briefly summarized it says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.” We will never be all that we can be until we take God seriously.

Wiersbe says that it means, “…we acknowledge from our hearts that He’s the Creator, we’re the creatures; He’s the Father, we’re His children; He’s the Master, we’re the servants. It means to respect God for who He is, to listen carefully to what He says, and to obey His Word, knowing that our disobedience displeases Him, breaks our fellowship with Him, and invites His chastening.”

Jeremiah and Zechariah both condemned the preachers of their day for not taking God seriously. They denied that God would judge their sin. He was a loving and gracious and forgiving God, and they need not worry about their life style choices. One commentator wrote the following: Their people needed an emergency heart transplant, but these quack-pastors came around with their Band-aids and their lollipops. “There, there,” they said, “you’re okay. God will not judge your sin.” “Peace, peace,” they said. “Shalom, shalom.” One reason they wrongly divided the word of truth was because they did not take God seriously. More than anything else, failing to take God seriously is the problem with the contemporary church. We trivialize the holiness of God, so we end up with a trivial view of sin. We trivialize the majesty of God, so we end up with trivial worship. We trivialize the truth of God, so we end up with a trivial grasp of his Word. We trivialize the judgment of God, so we end up with a trivial appreciation for the atonement of Jesus Christ. Our God is too trivial!

But true wisdom comes only when we begin to take God seriously.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7