There are two thoughts stated in this passage. Firstly, for one to be wise they need to fear God. This is not the same kind of fear as we say that people are afraid of the dark, or water, spiders, snakes, heights, public speaking, etc. This is a different type of fear. The word refers to a deep respect and reverence for God. To realize who God is, what He has done, the power and knowledge of the Creator should bring us to tremble before Him. One thing lacking in our society today is a fear for God. There is an idea that God is our buddy, and we hang out with Him like an old friend, laughing and doing silly things together. The reality is that God needs to be honored, He deserves respect and reverence. God is our friend, and we can boldly go to Him with our requests, but it should be done in reverence. It is up to the individual to show show reverence in their own way, which means there is no legalistic way of doing it. It is not expected that everyone must sing a Gregorian chant every time they pray, nor to pray in a specific manner. For us to become wiser people, we need to fear God. The beginning of knowledge, or the principle part, the main thing is the fear of God.
Secondly, fools despise wisdom. Psalm 14:1 says "The fool hath said in his heart there is no god". It is foolish to think that there is no god. Romans 1 tells us that there is no excuse, that creation itself bears witness to God. Many people believe there is no God, and they are fools according to the Bible. It is the fool who hates learning to fear God. If the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge, if we learn by fearing God, then the opposite of that is hating true wisdom, and that is a lack of fear of God.
Do you fear God? Do you revere Him for all that He has done? If you desire wisdom then begin by fearing God. That fear will lead you to Him as you read His Word.
- Assistant Pastor Rick Mitton
Some people are motivated by fear, and others are paralyzed by it.