What is the fear of the Lord?

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Proverbs 9

10     The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

11     For by me your days will be multiplied,

and years will be added to your life.

12     If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;

if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

Why, do you suppose, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom? Solomon makes this statement several times in Proverbs so there must be something to this teaching. When I was a young child under my father’s instructions, there were times that I did what I was supposed to do only because I feared his chastening hand. That chastening hand was both loving and firm. I never doubted my father’s love, nor did I doubt that he would correct me if I did wrong. Is the fear of the Lord at all similar to what I felt under my dad’s upbringing? If we feared God’s corrective hand are there actions we would avoid? Perhaps, the fear of the Lord is the fear of His just discipline. If the only reason we followed the Lord was out of fear of being corrected, we would avoid a great deal of trouble.

But do notice that the fear of the Lord is only “the beginning” of wisdom. When we begin to obey out of fear of correction, we will soon mature and obey out of love and respect. Ultimately, we will learn of God and the knowledge of the Holy One will give us insight to life. As I got older, I no longer feared my father’s correction, but I then respected his knowledge and sought to learn from him. When we learn from God about Him, that knowledge will guide us from foolishness into wisdom.

Then, verse 11, as we follow wisdom, we gain better days of life and more years to live them. Many stories have been written about a “fountain of youth” or about ways to live longer and better. Solomon puts it simply: fear the Lord and learn about Him and you will add better days and more years to your life. Verse 12 tells us that when we practice wisdom, we do it for ourselves. In the end, we are the primary beneficiary of our wisdom choices. Conversely, when we act in foolishness, we will bear the pain of those choices. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”


I met with a man today who wants accountability regarding his life choices. We talked about many things and committed to meet twice a month to ask each other questions about what we are doing and how we are doing. Do you have a friend that holds you accountable, a friend that sharpens your life when you get together? This man made a wisdom choice today and I will appreciate our getting together as well.

As it is Friday I ask again that you would be in prayer for ours and your church services this Sunday. We are looking forward to a great day together as we welcome new men and women into our church membership. We are thanking God for the people that He is bringing into our church to work together for His kingdom and glory.

Have a great day in the Lord,


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