“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” Psalm 111:10
“The fear of the LORD” has been the topic of many a sermon, yet too few of us have heeded this all-important truth that permeates the scriptures, myself included. As you can see from the verse above, “the fear of the LORD” is the starting place if we want wisdom. It is the key that unlocks the door to wisdom, and not surprisingly, it is associated with “all they that do his commandments”!
“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:28
Job goes so far as to say that “the fear of the LORD” actually “is wisdom”, and also shows us that the key characteristic of someone having wisdom will be that they “depart from evil”. Friends, fearing God is how we tap into God’s “mercy and truth”. Fearing God will purge sin from our lives, as we “depart from evil”.
“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” Proverbs 16:6
There are two different ways to get “the fear of the LORD” both are learned. We can learn to fear God by experience, which is usually painful, or we can learn to fear God through believing the Bible.
“…Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.” Deuteronomy 4:10
As you can see from this verse, learning “the fear of the LORD” through believing the Bible is the method that God prefers he even sends his messengers to teach people to fear him.
“Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.” 2 Kings 17:28
Fear is a great motivator; it causes us to look both ways before crossing the road, it causes us to purchase all types of insurance, and it is a built-in warning device that protects our body. Who among us hasn’t trembled in “fear” as we’ve inched toward the ledge of some great gulf while holding onto something that has anchored us safely, lest we plunge headlong into destruction? Unfortunately, our soul doesn’t react instinctively, it responds by choice / free will. We have been conditioned to either procrastinate by thinking that we have plenty of time to make a decision of eternal consequences, or we wink at the old fashioned idea of hell. How crude and vulgar of a thought; what an unsophisticated notion to believe in hell and eternal damnation, why, we live in modern day USA! Yet the Bible remains unchanged and warns through many passages, and in no uncertain terms of the reality of hell, and it pleads for souls not to step off headlong into a Christ-less eternity. Friend, will you “fear him” (the LORD) enough to call upon the “anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19) for “salvation” today?
“Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him…” Psalm 85:9a