The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7
Beyond the connection between fearing God and righteous living, the Bible presents a tight link between the fear of the Lord and wisdom.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding.” (Psalm 111:10)
“The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)
“A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil.” (Proverbs 14:16)
“The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom.” (Proverbs 15:33)
Once we’ve accepted that we need to fear the Lord, we pursue the path of wisdom. At the same time, seeking wisdom helps us understand what it means to fear God.
“My son, if you accept my [wisdom’s] words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.” (Proverbs 2:1-5)
We will understand the fear of the Lord by:
• Accepting God’s words
• Storing up God’s commands
• Turning our ears to wisdom
• Applying our hearts to understanding
• Crying aloud for understanding
• Searching for wisdom as for hidden treasure
Seeking wisdom and fearing God requires a concerted effort. The two go hand in hand. Wisdom begins with fearing the Lord. We must acknowledge His authority to rule our lives and submit to His will. Then, as we listen to and accept God’s words, as we apply His commands to our hearts and ask Him to give us understanding, we start to make sense of the difficult concept of fearing God.
God, lead me on the path to wisdom. Teach me to fear You. Amen.
By Suzanne Benner