The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prov 1:7 NKJV)

Some Christians are knowledge junkies.  Maybe it’s because we place such an emphasis on things like knowing the Bible.  Sometimes knowledge is kind of fun.  It’s great to discover new truths.  It’s also nice to be confident of the truth.  But knowledge also has its problems.  Paul tells us that “knowledge puffs up” (1 Cor 8:1b).  If we’re not careful, knowledge can become a weapon, a way we hold power or authority over people.  Our attitude can become, “I can tell you what to do because I know more than you”.
Now if we’re going to put together a “who’s who” of smart guys, I imagine Solomon would be towards the top of anyone’s list.  Solomon was a true “renaissance man” nearly 2300 years before there was a Renaissance.  He studied biology, architecture, agriculture, philosophy, poetry, and music.  But Solomon found that the pursuit of knowledge itself was nothing but vanity, a waste of time (Eccl. 1:16-18). 

Solomon wrote that learning the fear of God was where true knowledge begins.  What does it mean to “fear God”?  It means to reverence God.  It involves the realization of how small I am and how BIG God is.  It’s knowing that God is the one who controls whether I wind up in heaven or in hell.  It involves me realizing that every breath I take I owe to God’s work in my life.  It’s taking God’s requirements for me seriously.  It’s making my intimacy with God my first priority.  It’s not placing a priority on how much I know, but on how well I know Him.  That’s what “smart” is all about.