Fear of the Lord: Beginning of wisdom

Throughout the Old Testament, we find numerous references to “the fear of the Lord.” The scripture posted on the homepage of Logos Bible Software on July 21, 2019, comes from Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Proverbs 9:10 makes a similar declaration:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding

Here is a dramatic graphic rendering of Proverbs 9:10:

Psalm 111:10 also mentions the term:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding

The expression thus connects with three primary virtues: “knowledge,” “wisdom,” and “understanding.”

Although many Bible teachers tend to emphasize synonyms, such as “respect,” “reverence,” and “honor,” the term also suggests a deep, serious recognition of someone who “is awesome in power” and who should be looked upon with “fear and trembling” as Psalm 2:11 indicates:

Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.

Another reference from Psalm 19:9 teaches us regarding this vital concept:

The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever.

Solomon, in his wisdom, settles the whole discussion regarding humanity and God:

Ecclesiastes 12:13

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

In Romans, Paul discusses the sinful nature of humanity:

Romans 3:10-12:

As the Scriptures say,
“No one is righteous—
not even one.
11 No one is truly wise;
no one is seeking God.
12 All have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good,
not a single one.”

He concludes by saying,

Romans 3:17-18:

17 They don’t know where to find peace.”
18 “They have no fear of God at all.”

Once again, the Psalmist concurs regarding those enemies who fought against him:

Psalm 55:19:

God will hear and humble them,
Even He who sits enthroned from old— Selah.
Because in them there has been no change [of heart],
And they do not fear God [at all].

Both Proverbs 9:10 and Psalm 19:9 form the introduction to 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.

We stand perfected offspring destined to walk upright,

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.

Tommy Walker offers this song of worship: “The Fear of the Lord”

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One Response to “Fear of the Lord: Beginning of wisdom”

  1. phyllis mccallum Says:

    Trust God in all aspects of your life.

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