The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.Proverbs 1:7
Walking in Wisdom
How important is the Word of God to our lives? Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away but His words would never pass away. Jesus was the Word of God made flesh.
The Book of Proverbs contains an amazing depth of wisdom for our lives and this verse above is such a cornerstone passage of scripture that we can glean from.
When you think about “the fear of the Lord” what comes to mind? How does the fear of God and the love of God co-exist? First we need to understand that these are not contrary to one another. God’s love will give us boundaries for our safety. There are just some things we shouldn’t do, things the Lord tells us not to do. This is for our own protection and safety. It is not to deprive us but to keep us on the right track in life.
Being created in the image of God we have a conscience that actually will speak to us about what is the right or wrong thing to do. The Book of Romans talks about how there are “natural affections” that are normal and good that people turn away from to live a lifestyle of sin. (Rom. 1:26)
In I Timothy it shows us that people can “sear” their conscience as with a hot iron would burn the skin making it dead. (1 Tim. 4:2) When people do the wrong things over and over again their conscience is damaged and in need of repair. When this happens someone no longer really realizes what they are doing and that, in many cases, it is even wrong.
Understanding the fear of the Lord – it is the “beginning” of knowledge. It is foundational. In some ways it is common sense for the soul. Who is going to put their hand in the fire “on purpose” to be burned or to experience pain? Yet, in some cases because of unhealthy upbringing, just being raised wrong, taught wrong, being wounded by others and inner pain people want to hurt themselves or escape because of bad experiences. They will rebel against what is common, natural and accepted to try to be something else. It is the blind following the blind. It is a loss of identity.
The Restoration & New Creation
Christ comes to restore that identity of being created in the image of God – even making us new creations. Here the conscience comes into process of restoration and re-learning the ancient paths of the Lord – even the fear of the Lord. He takes us back to the beginnings, even giving us a new one.
The goodness of God draws people to repentance. His goodness grabs us and His love can be tough but it is all for our good. A good father would protect His son with short term pain to avert long term destruction. That is love. The fear of the Lord is about heeding the voice of the Lord, knowing the value of His words and living life in His ways. In it there is wisdom, boundaries for healthy life and understanding with right perspectives – His perspective in all matters.
In a nutshell, God is not saying to be afraid of Him but to have a high healthy respect and esteem of His truth, words and ways. Live your life surrendered to Him as He is a Good Father.