The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Very often we end up in the wrong place because we start in the wrong place. If you get on the wrong train at the station at the beginning, you will be in the wrong place at the end. If you get on the wrong train of thought when you are young, you will end up in stupidity or evil (and thus misery) when you are old. And so, many people in the world decide that the beginning of wisdom is money, or sex, or drugs, or rock’n’roll, when they start out and end up as sane as Howard Hughes, as happy as Marilyn Monroe, and as full of life as Kurt Cobain or Janis Joplin. Ours is a thoroughly fouled-up race in that regard. So God helps us out in today’s verse: He tells us where to begin because we would usually never figure it out without the hint. Start with the fear of the Lord and you will, slowly but surely, gain understanding and, in the process come to happiness. For you will come to the Lord, who is our happiness.