“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
Years ago those words leapt off the page of my Bible and exploded in my heart. God was in hot pursuit of my heart–my whole heart–and intuitively I knew how much my life would change if I gave Him what He was after. Frankly, I was scared to death, but it was a different kind of “fear” than anything I had experienced before. My eyes were being opened to the reality that God was…well … God. Yet He wanted me.
I’d been a believer of sorts since I was a kid, but this was different. I was searching the pages of my Bible for answers to explain what was happening to me. I ran across this verse and I knew I had found my answer. What I was feeling wasn’t foolish or crazy–quite the contrary–it was the beginning of true wisdom.
You can accept Jesus as Savior and never come to the beginning of wisdom. Many people get their ticket to heaven and pretty much stop there. They may even do lots of stuff for Him, but they never come close enough to truly know Him. He will never force anyone to come closer. It’s sort of like the children of Israel sending Moses up the mountain for them–they were content to worship from a nice safe distance. They were afraid alright, but it was the wrong kind of fear. Rather than being in awe and amazement that a holy and powerful God was inviting them into relationship, they were afraid of Him because they misunderstood who He was and what He was after. That’s not the fear of the Lord–and it most certainly doesn’t lead to wisdom. Jesus is the personification of wisdom and anything that leads away from intimacy with Him is not terribly wise.
The fear of the Lord is not the fear of getting into trouble with God. Yes, He is God. Yes, He is holy. Yes, He can do what He pleases, but what pleases Him most is that we know and share His heart. When you recognize who He is–that He is holy and sovereign, all-powerful and all-knowing, uncreated and unchanging, that He is God almighty and He has no equal–yet dare to believe that His longing and burning desire is for restored intimacy with fallen man, it does something inside you. Instead of fearing His “wrath”–you love and adore Him so much that your only real fear is of hurting Him. Personally, I think that is the fear of the Lord.
Yep, the fear of Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The beginning–the foundation. It is a journey that, thankfully, doesn’t stop there–it starts there. Because once you taste a little “wisdom” you forever thirst for more!