Welcome back to Riddles of the Wise. Today, we’re looking at Proverbs chapter 9. I want to focus on verse 10 in today’s devotion.
Prov. 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Like we talked about in church this past week, the phrase “fear of the Lord” is used many times in the book of Proverbs. At first, that concept can be confusing. I remember the first time I read that phrase in the Bible. I remember how confused it made me. Proverbs places a huge amount of importance on not only knowing what it means to “fear the Lord”, but also on actually living it out. If we can’t live out this one phrase, we can’t start to obtain wisdom.
As I read the verse the first time, I remember thinking, “I thought I was supposed to love God, and that He was like a perfect Father to me. Now, I’m being told I should fear Him? I don’t want to be afraid of my Father. I want to trust Him. Be close to Him. Share everything with Him. Be guided by Him. If I were afraid of God, how would I have that type of relationship with Him?”
However, the fear of the Lord is not being afraid of God (wanting to hide from and avoid Him). It has an entirely different meaning. If you look at the following verses, you’ll see what the writer of Proverbs meant by “fearing God”:
Proverbs 8:13, “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”
Proverbs 3:7, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.”
Psalm 112:1, “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!”
Fearing God is not about being afraid of Him. It’s about respecting Him, acknowledging Him, and obeying His commandments. It means that we seek His voice in our life and do our absolute best to submit to it. When we submit to God, He promises to be with us, guiding us through life.
Prov. 3:6, “In all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
God says, “Let me make it real simple. You focus on submitting to me, and I’ll focus on making the path obvious to you.” It is the submitting and obeying process that sums up what it means to fear the Lord. The fear of the Lord makes it possible to receive wisdom from God.
Talk to God today about where you think you fear (respect, acknowledge, submit) Him the most and where you fear Him the least. Maybe, instead of asking, “What do I do now?” you should start asking, “Where do I submit now?”
Keep going! You are doing great. God has big things in store for you…
Have a great day!