Fear of the Lord: beginning of wisdom

James 3--17-18

From James 3:17-18 in the Amplified Bible comes the Verse of the Day for May 19, 2016:

But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace-loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile]. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness (spiritual maturity) is sown in peace by those who make peace [by actively encouraging goodwill between individuals.

This passage from the Book of James brought to mind a previously posted collection of blog entries entitled “Words of Wisdom”—a daily dose of “words to the wise.” Here is an excerpt and a poem related to wisdom:

Despite the sweet savor of past victories that we desire to linger forever or the bitter aftertaste of former times of seeming defeat that we seek to forget, each day unfolds as a new beginning, an opportunity to make a fresh start. How do we begin? We go back to the beginning.  As we reflect upon wisdom, we find that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” (Proverbs 9:10). Here is a dramatic, graphic rendering of the verse:

Psalm 19:9 also opens with “the fear of the Lord.” Both verses introduce this poem:

The Beginning of Wisdom

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever. 

Psalm 19:9

  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:

and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Proverbs 9:10


We begin and stand in absolute awe of You,

Thoroughly washed in the fountain of holiness.

The old has passed away—Behold, You make all things new,

Redeemed and justified by Christ, our righteousness.

As You search the earth, may we find grace in your sight.

We seek to be wise but never in our own eyes.

Here we stand mature, as those destined to walk upright,

As beloved ones, whose heart Your Word purifies.

We are filled with knowledge and wisdom from above

And bound by a covenant no one can sever,

For nothing can separate us from God’s love:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.

We are renewed in strength and upheld by God’s Word,

As we pursue wisdom, growing in the fear of the Lord.


A perfect accompaniment of this blog entry is the worship song “We Choose the Fear of the Lord” by Maranatha Music.


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