“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” ~Proverbs 9:10
Proverbs spells out here that the beginning of wisdom does not come from studying hours upon hours a day. Wisdom is not gained through going to the biggest church in town. Wisdom does not begin after being a follower of Jesus for a certain number of years. Wisdom begins the moment we have the fear of the Lord in our hearts. I was watching the Basic Series by Francis Chan, and something he said really stood out to me. He said for years the church has read Proverbs 9:10 or similar verses and paused to tell the congregation something to the effect of “This doesn’t actually mean to fear God” or “This is more of a reverence or respect fear rather than actually being scared.”
But what does the Bible say about those who had the fear of the Lord in their hearts?
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and His robe filled the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Hosts; His glory fills the whole earth. The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke. Then I said: “Woe is me for I am ruined because I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips, and because my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of Hosts.” ~Isaiah 5:6
So when Isaiah was in the presence of the Lord, did he just show Him respect or acknowledge that He was a big deal? Absolutely not! He was terrified!
Let’s look at another person in Scripture:
“When I turned I saw seven gold lampstands, and among the lampstands was One like the Son of Man, dressed in a long robe and with a gold sash wrapped around His chest. His head and hair were white like wool—white as snow—and His eyes like a fiery flame. His feet were like fine bronze as it is fired in a furnace, and His voice like the sound of cascading waters. He had seven stars in His right hand; a sharp double-edged sword came from His mouth, and His face was shining like the sun at midday. When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man.” Revelation 1:12-17
So here John just said, “Hey, Jesus You are so cool and I totally respect and revere You”, right? NO! He, like Isaiah, was TERRIFIED! There was genuine fear in John’s heart!
When you are faced before I completely holy, all powerful, all knowing, ever present God, you suddenly realized how far short you are from His standard. When you suddenly put in that place, fear rises in your heart. But what happens in each one of those cases after the fear of God pieces the heart of man?
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said: Now that this has touched your lips, your wickedness is removed and your sin is atoned for. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: “Who should I send? Who will go for Us?” I said: “Here I am. Send me.” ~Isaiah 6:6-8
He laid His right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades. Therefore write what you have seen, what is, and what will take place after this. ~Revelation 1:17-19
Both times after Isaiah and John realize who they are before and fall down in fear, God says, “Do not fear”. Why? ““The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”
Fear of the Lord causes us to obey God. If we truly believe the consequences that God lays out for sin, we will obey Him. We know what the consequences are and fear them! Fear of the Lord also causes us to love God as well. Think about it. For those of you reading this blog who have been saved by Jesus Christ, was it not the fear of your sin that drove you to your knees to ask for forgiveness. You may have felt ashamed or sorry for your sin, but at some point the fear of God does come into play there. If you weren’t scared of what the Gospel said about those outside of Christ, you would not have recognized your need for a Savior. So the Proverb is very much correct when saying “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. Although we have the fear of the Lord, we don’t have to go around and hope we don’t get zapped by God today. When you fear the Lord, your hearts desire is to please Him, so that results in your walking before Him in righteousness. It is when the fear of the Lord is not in your heart that you should truly be scared.
I pray that this blog will help those of you who are Christian believers and those who are not. Maybe you are reading this and do not know the Lord. I pray that you would consider that the Bible says the wages of sin are death. That Jesus Christ is the only way for eternal life with God. Those of you who are saved reading this blog, I pray that you would examine your life and find out if you are living a blameless life before God. America extremely lacks the fear of the Lord. So many want to come to God on their own agendas, do what they feel is right, participate in things of the world and still try to maintain a Christian faith, and look just like the world. God says you can not serve two masters. In other words you can’t love the world and love God. You have to choose. Choose to fear the Lord today. Blessings!