The fear of the LORD” was one of the first concepts introduced in Proverbs (1:7). There it was stated to be “the beginning of knowledge,” here it’s “the beginning of wisdom.”
“The fear of the LORD” is foundational to both good theology and a meaningful daily life. A proper grasp of what it really means will give us empowerment.
“The fear the LORD” is really much more than just being afraid of God (although a bit of that is appropriate). Instead, it’s more of an attitude of “reverence” — being “in awe” of God because He is so “awesome.”
But, at its core, “the fear of the LORD” is simply the ability to see and appreciate God as He really is. That includes all the attributes of His “awesomeness.”
In theology, this involves His moral attributes (love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, patience, justice, and righteousness) and His non-moral attributes (the three “omnis” and immutability).
Seeing God as He really is will help us to begin recognizing His greatness…and that should make an impact on how I operate day by day.
Typical of ancient Hebrew poetry, this verse parallels the phrases “the fear of the LORD” and “knowledge of the Holy One” (like 1:7). “Wisdom” and “understanding,” also, are mentioned in parallel.
While “knowledge of the Holy One” is not as prominent a phrase in Proverbs, it carries the same idea. And, when we see and know God as He really is, we really will understand some things!
So, if I can grasp all this and realize He’s all that — I’ll never be the same again!