The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever. Psalm 111:10
Last week we talked about walking wisely. And putting the puzzle pieces together so that our lives are not foolish or wasted. Today’s reading is the place we must begin in order to do just that. In order to be wise, we must first fear the Lord.
So what does it mean to fear the Lord? Doesn’t the Bible tell me not to fear? This is confusing!
Some commentators say this means we are to respect the Lord. Others say we should be afraid because of His power. I am not a Hebrew scholar but I think that it’s helpful to examine the word the psalmist used when the Holy Spirit inspired him to pen these words. The Hebrew word that we translate “fear” is “yirah” and it means abject terror, fear, awe, reverence. Perhaps that doesn’t help you much J but let’s unpack it together.
If you and I recognize God as omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, then the way we live is bound to be affected. It causes us to respond in awe to His majesty in creation. To bow in humility and repentance that He knows our every thought. To rejoice in His presence that we are always loved and accepted. And to long to never displease Him because He is worthy of our devotion and affection and obedience.
That’s how we begin our wise walk. And that “understanding what the will of God is” that we read about yesterday, the “putting together of the puzzle pieces”? Well, He tells us in his verse about that, too. That understanding – that “knowing which pieces go where” – hinges on obeying His commands.
Today let’s pray this verse back to Him. Ask Him to show you His glory so you can worship Him. Ask Him to shine His light into your heart and reveal where you are falling short of what He desires for you. (Don’t fear doing this – He is gentle and loving in His correction. He will not show us everything at once for we could not bear it. But when we confess and repent of whatever He shows us, He is faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, even that which we are not aware of ! I John 1:9,10) Then let His praises endure forever in your heart. Rejoice that He loves you faithfully and ask Him to show you specific things to obey.