OK, the Bible tells me that I need wisdom... and I understand I do. But where do I go and what should I do to obtain this wisdom? Where do I start from? What am I supposed to do first?
The Bible tells us clearly in Proverbs 9:10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
In Psalm 111:10 - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever."
And in Job 28:28 - "And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.’”
So biblical wisdom starts with fearing the Lord. If we desire to be wise, we need to fear God first. And if we do not have any fear of God in our heart, we have not even started on the path of wisdom (we are still walking in foolishness!...).
Not sure about you, but I realise that being foolish is not the way to go. I know this is not God's will for me, so I need to find out more about the fear of the Lord. What does it mean to fear God? Am I supposed to be scared of Him? Should I be afraid of Him because He wants to hurt me?
Let's look at what the Bible has to say about what the fear of the Lord is.
Isaiah 33:6 - "Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; The fear of the Lord is His treasure."
Proverbs 8:13 - "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate."
Psalm 34:11-14 - "Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it."
Proverbs 6:6 - "In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil."
Proverbs 1:29 - "Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord"
It looks like it is something we choose to do. It seems like it involves hating evil and refusing to take part in it... And this is not all in the Old Testament. The fear of God is for Christians today. Look at what the New Testament tells us about how we should apply the fear of God in our daily lives:
2 Corinthians 7:1 - Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
Ephesians 5:21 - "submitting to one another in the fear of God."
Hebrews 12:28 - "Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear"
1 Peter 2:17 - "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king."
But you may say "Hold on a second... I thought that God had not given us a spirit of fear?..."
Yes, that is correct, but the Bible also says that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God and that we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
The fear of the Lord is not a fear that makes you shake like a leaf; it is a deep reverence that empowers you to do His will. The fear of the Lord is not a fear that paralyses you, but one that moves you to obey God. When you fear God, you are more concerned about pleasing God than pleasing anybody else.
Someone once said the fear of the Lord is not fearing that God may hurt you, but fearing that YOU may hurt Him...
So in our endeavour to get wisdom, let us start with the fear of the Lord. Let us pray for the fear of the Lord!