The way we define “fear” is totally different from how the Bible defines it in this context and it is an important part of the Christian walk to truly understand what it means to Fear God.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”Proverbs 9:10
Several other Bible passages also refer to the fear of the Lord (e.g., Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7; 14:27; 15:33). It is important to understand how the Bible uses the word fear in this context in order to understand how the fear of the Lord leads to wisdom.
Fear is a descriptive word with several meanings. It can be a feeling of terror in frightening circumstances (Deut. 2:25). This word can also mean “respect” in the sense of a servant who fears his master and serves him faithfully (Joshua 24:14). (Isaiah 6:5). Fear can also be described as the feeling of reverence or awe that is experienced when one is near greatness. Fear of the Lord encompasses all of these attributes.
As the Bible describes it, “to fear the Lord is to be continually aware that our loving heavenly Father is watching and evaluating all we think, say and do” (Matthew 12:36; Psalm 139:2; Jeremiah 12:3). The text of Revelation 1-2 says that Jesus told each one of the seven churches, “I know your works.” Nothing escapes His notice.
We must recognize God for what He is if we hope to develop our fear of the Lord. It is important for us to see with our spirit the power, might, beauty, and brilliance of the mighty and merciful God (Rev.11:17; Hoseah 12:5; Isaiah 5:1-5). It is those who fear the Lord who are continually aware of Him, revere Him deeply, and commit to obeying Him.
“For although they knew God, they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, “Romans 1:21-22
This verse refers to people who ignore God and try to gain wisdom – it cannot be done because God is the source of wisdom.
Wisdom can only be possessed by a person who fears God, and we cannot possess that quality by creating a god that suits us. The desire to “tame” God into a non-threatening being is very widespread. We will not be able to fear the Lord like He deserves if we redefine Him as a friend with whom we can make ourselves comfortable, a buddy who exists only to bless us and give us what we want.
When we see Him in all His splendour and power and see the majesty of the Lord, we are filled with Holy fear (Rev. 4:11; Job 42:1-2). In the book of Job chapter 38 – 41, God gives Job and us a look into His power when He describes His absolute control over everything.
Realising God’s true nature can spark a desire in us to worship Him and only when we understand who He is and if we worship Him wholeheartedly, then we are in the right position to gain wisdom.
Having true wisdom from God will help you see life from His perspective. It will also teach you how to respond and how you ought to seek God above everything else.
As human beings, we gravitate towards faulty human choices because of our nature. The fear of the Lord helps us make better decisions. When we care what He thinks we make choices in order to please Him. Therefore He becomes a part of all the choices, decisions and moves we make.
“The fear of God is the death of every other fear, like a mighty lion, it chases all other fears before it.”Charles Spurgeon