The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Proverbs 9:10)
Who wouldn’t want a little more wisdom? We face all sorts of decisions, courses of action, and possibilities in this life. I’m sure we’d all want to know how to handle them all with greater confidence and ability.
James says that if we lack wisdom, we should ask God, “who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly - and it will be given” James 1:5. So ask!
In Proverbs, the great book of wisdom, we read that the beginning of wisdom is “the fear of the Lord.” That’s the place to start. But why “the fear of the Lord?” We usually think of fear as being a bad thing, but Scripture often uses the “fear of the Lord” in a positive sense. Paul Vanderkley writes this: “When you find yourself in the presence of someone you so revere, someone you are in awe of, you tremble. It is a positive fear. You are afraid you will disappoint, dishonor this person. The positive fear is all about love. It is a joyful fear. This is what the fear of the Lord is.” It’s the kind of respect that sees God for who He is – Mighty beyond imagination, infinitely wise, full of love, completely trustworthy. He is the one worth being the most important thing in our lives.
As we see who God is, and have such a high respect for Him, we value what He has to say more and more. If He is the source of infinite wisdom, and if His wisdom is far greater than those around us or our own, and if He delights to give it, it would be foolish not to seek after Him for it. We go to Him first for wisdom. We trust what He has to say and incorporate it into our lives. We measure wisdom from others and from the internet or books or television or culture around us by what God has to say, because He has final say. We seek God’s approval and His opinions more than that of others, because we trust that in the end, what He has to say is the highest and final word.
(This article first appeared in our February newsletter)