“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom…” Psl. 111: 10
Wisdom begins with fear. Not love, communication, or even respect, but fear. When I say fear, I’m not speaking of the fear of bodily harm, although we all know, and the Bible teaches, the temporary “discomfort” of measured corporal punishment as a child has saved many young adults from bad decisions and foolish actions in later life (Prov. 22:15).
What I am talking about is the fear of offending a father who loves us enough to set boundaries of protection and provide godly instruction for a life of joy and purpose, and who warns of inevitable consequences of disregarding both.
In this verse, we’re told that this kind of fear is the only starting place for finding true wisdom in this life. If you don’t start here, you’ll never get there. You may find ways to get by, but not to do well, spiritually speaking and otherwise. Without God, life is a gamble, with no meaning or purpose, because there is no fear of consequence. Do your own thing, follow your heart, and hope for the best in the end; when God has said, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants of God, ye have your fruit in holiness, and the end everlasting life” (Rom. 6:22). Fear God enough to believe what He has said about salvation through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ, fear Him enough to follow the precepts in His holy Word, and God has promised, not only will we be wise here, but wise forever.
So now, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13). It’s as simple as that.