Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
Today I’ve been thinking about the “fear of the Lord”, which according to the psalmist is the beginning of wisdom. We read this sort of language in many places in scripture, particularly in the Old Testament. God did mighty works of power in freeing the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. Other nations heard of what God had done and so feared the Hebrews. God brought fear to the Hebrews themselves at Mt. Sinai as a warning to the people against sin. Even Luther, when explaining the 10 commandments in the small catechism, prefaces each item with “We should love and fear God…”.
I’m a father of three children myself, though they are young adults now. But when they were little I suppose I wanted them to love and fear me as well. I don’t mean fear as in they were scared of me. I don’t believe they ever were. But fear as in a healthy respect. And of course I trusted their respect for me would rest on a foundation of the deep love I had for them. They knew I would do anything for them.
And while in their youth they often chafed at the boundaries their mother and I placed upon them, they later realized there was purpose behind the boundaries – which were in place so life would go well for them. It’s been especially gratifying to see them maintain those boundaries even when they could choose to reject them. Mom and dad know a thing or two after all!
So when I think about my own fear of the Lord it’s through that kind of lens that I think of it. If I fear the Lord and honor the boundaries the Lord has placed on me, things will tend to go well with me. And with you if you will do the same. Lord, let it be so. Amen.