“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it, have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” (Psalm 111:10)
In my younger years, I was very much afraid of God. It was not a healthy fear in the sense of awe or respect. Awe and respect come from understanding who God is and what He can do. My fear was more aligned with what I perceived He would do. I was scared. I knew a lot about what God hated and what God would do to me if I weren’t pure in heart and life. There was little in the way of wisdom in how I approached God.
One night I heard heaven like singing. I was sure it was angels and that the end was nigh. I became so afraid that I was sick at my stomach. I knew in my heart that I was not sinless. I was twelve years old and was probably guilty of all sorts of bad things that would result in my being castigated with the goats of the world. There was no wisdom there.
The fear in this Psalm is not terror. It is not numbing fright or paralyzing fear. It is the knowledge of who God is and His great power. Wisdom is knowing that the power of God is controlled by who God is. God is love; he is pure love. God operates out of an abundance of love. Only those who reject Him and His gifts need to be afraid of Him. Those who practice the wisdom that calls on them to turn to God have a good understanding. Rather than fear God, we should praise Him.
Task for Today: Are you afraid of the Lord? Don’t be. Do you respect who He is and what His power can do? That’s good. God calls you in love, and if you answer Him today, you will not need to be afraid of Him. His love will protect you, and His love will save you and His love will forgive you and His love will call you to live with Him forever. Trust in the love of God for that is the real wisdom of life.