Text: Proverbs 9:10
Introduction: Proverbs 9:10 says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Basically, this verse teaches that the fear of God is fundamental to true wisdom. All other types of learning are useless unless they are built on the knowledge of the Lord himself. Many other passages speak of the fear of the Lord (for instance, we can see it in Psalm 111: 10, Proverbs 1: 7, 14:27, 15:33). Before we can understand how fear of the Lord leads to wisdom, we need to define what the Bible means by “fear” in this context.
In the Bible, the word translated “fear” can mean many things. It can refer to the terror you feel in a terrifying situation (Deuteronomy 2:25). This can mean “respect” for the way a servant fears his master and serves him faithfully (Joshua 24:14). Fear can also denote a person’s respect or fear in the presence of greatness. The fear of the Lord is a combination of all this.
The fear of the Lord can be defined as the continuing awareness that God Almighty observes and values everything we think, say and do (Matthew 12:36). In Revelation 1-2, Jesus told each of the seven churches that “I know your works.” Nothing escapes His attention.
Developing the Fear of the Lord
To develop the fear of the Lord, we must recognize God for what He is. We must contemplate with our minds the power, strength, beauty, and brilliance of Almighty God (see Revelation 11:17; Hosea 12: 5). Those who fear the Lord have a continuous awareness of Him, a deep reverence for Him and a sincere commitment to obey Him.
The book of Proverbs Chapter 1 verse 7 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” This Bible passage gives us an additional idea of its antithetical parallelism (bringing together opposing ideas in marked contrast. That is, instead of saying the same thing twice, it says one thing and then a different thing), there is a strong contrast between wise life and dumb life. A wise man fears/reverses/obeys the Lord but a fool despises God’s instructions and cannot be told what to do. The wise people are wise because they have started where they supposed to start which was the starting point while the fool has no foundation upon which to build wisdom.
The book of Romans 1:21-22 speaks of those who neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Actually, they claimed to be wise but they became fools. This is a description of people who seek wisdom while ignoring God and it cannot be done for the simple reason that God is the source of wisdom.
However, the link between fear of God and wisdom means that we cannot have wisdom if we recreate God in our image. Many people want to “tame” God into a non-threatening person. But if we redefine the Lord as a God who makes us feel comfortable, a permissive “friend” who exists simply to bless us and give us what we want, we will not be afraid of him in the way He deserves. To fear the Lord God Almighty is much greater than this, and the fear of the Lord begins when we see Him in His majesty and power (see Revelation 4:11). The Lord shows Job a glimpse of His power in Job 38:1-41 when He describes His absolute sovereignty over everything.
When you fear the Lord El-Shaddai, you will be scare and afraid not to do His will at all times. To worship God will be seamless. Whenever the reality of God’s true nature made us fall into worship, we are in the right position to acquire wisdom. Wisdom is simply seeing life from God’s perspective and responding accordingly. Wisdom is a priority, and we are instructed to seek it first (Proverbs 3:13; 16:16). Proverbs are known as the book of wisdom, and the entire second chapter provides a detailed explanation of the value of the acquisition of wisdom. If God is not in your life, you don’t have wisdom. You can understand the affairs of the world, but you lack wisdom. In the wisdom of God, you have everything. In God’s wisdom, you acquire wealth, peace, joy, hope and healthy spirit.
Therefore, until our hearts are in the right relationship with God, we cannot have the wisdom that comes from heaven (James 3:17). Without the fear of the Lord, we can gain knowledge (understanding) of earthly things and make practical decisions for this life, but we lack the only ingredient that defines a wise person (according to Psalm 14:1 and Exodus 20:3). When you read about the parable of the rich farmer in the Bible, the rich man had a “wise” and practical plan for his profits but God said to him “You are a fool” because the farmer’s thinking was made without involving God and eternity (Luke 12:16-21).
Without the fear of the Lord, we make final decisions based on our human misunderstanding (Proverbs 3: 5-6). When we embody the fear of the Lord at all times in our lives, we make decisions based on his approval. We live with the knowledge that the Creator of the universe is intimately involved in each of our movements. He sees, knows and evaluates all our choices, and we will answer to Him (see Psalm 139: 1–4).
Our respect for God’s majesty makes us honour Him (Psalm 29: 2). Our gratitude for His mercy leads us to serve Him well (Psalm 2:11). And the understanding that our God of love is also a God of anger who inspires enough fear to help us get away from evil/sin (Romans 1:18). Sin is for the foolish, Righteousness is to the wise. When we start living a righteous life, we find ourselves on the path of wisdom, and everyone in our lives benefits from it (Proverbs 13:20).
Wisdom is GOD & HE is Wisdom. God created the universe in His wisdom.