Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Basically, this verse teaches that the fear of God is foundational to true wisdom; all other types of learning are worthless unless built upon a knowledge of the Lord Himself.
Fear of the Lord can be defined as “the continual awareness that our loving heavenly Father is watching and evaluating everything we think, say, and do. As Jesus told each of the seven churches in Revelation 1—2, “I know your works.” Nothing escapes His attention.
In order to develop the fear of the Lord, we must recognize God for who He is. We must glimpse with our spirits the power, might, beauty, and brilliance of the Lord God Almighty. Those who fear the Lord have a continual awareness of Him, a deep reverence for Him, and sincere commitment to obey Him.
The link between the fear of God and wisdom means we cannot possess wisdom if we recreate God in our own image. Too many people want to “tame” God into a non-threatening nobody. But, if we redefine the Lord as a god that makes us feel comfortable, a permissive “buddy” who exists simply to bless us and give us what we want, we will not fear Him in the way He deserves to be feared. The Lord God Almighty is far greater than that, and the fear of the Lord begins when we see Him in His majesty and power.
When the reality of God’s true nature has caused us to fall down in worship, we are then in the right position to gain wisdom. Wisdom is merely seeing life from God’s perspective and responding accordingly. Wisdom is a priority, and we are told to seek it above all else.
Until our hearts are in a right relationship with God, we are unable to have the wisdom that comes from heaven. Without the fear of the Lord, we may gain knowledge of earthly things and make some practical choices for this life, but we are missing the one ingredient that defines a wise person. In the parable of the Rich Fool, the rich man had a “wise” and practical plan for his profits, but God said to him, “You fool!” because the farmer’s plans were made with no thought of God and eternity (Luke 12:16–21).
Without the fear of the Lord, we make final decisions based on our faulty human understanding. When we incorporate the fear of the Lord into every moment of our lives, we make decisions based upon His approval. We live with the knowledge that the Creator of the universe is intimately involved in our every move. He sees, knows, and evaluates all our choices, and we will answer to Him.
Our respect for God’s majesty causes us to honor Him. Our gratitude for His mercy causes us to serve Him well. And the understanding that our God of love is also a God of wrath inspires enough fear to help us stay away from evil. Sin is foolish; righteousness is wise. When we live righteously, we are on the path to wisdom, and everyone in our lives benefits. (GOT QUESTIONS MINISTRIES)