Wisdom and the Fear of God

Wisdom is the ability to know what is the right thing to do. Before we can do the right thing, we have to know what it is. If God sees that someone really wants to do the right thing, He will let that person understand (John 7:17).

If someone wants to know just for the sake of intellectual curiosity, then there is no real purpose for God to give that person wisdom (Matthew 11:25). If we do want to do the right thing and don’t know what it is, then God will be delighted to show us (Ephesians 1:17, James 1:5).

The first part of seeking wisdom goes against our natural inclinations. The beginning of wisdom is the “Fear of YHVH” (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 1:7). Fear of YHVH is to know that God punishes sin and that we have all sinned.

Yeshua defined the fear of YHVH as fearing eternal punishment of hell after death (Luke 12:5). That is the bottom line of the fear of God.

Yet in that same passage, Yeshua spoke 7 times of not fearing any thing, person or circumstance (Luke 12:4, 7, 11, 22, 26, 29, 32). The fear of God eliminates every other kind of fear in life. To have the fear of God is to be totally fearless of every danger. Therefore the fear of God can also be defined as “moral courage.”

When we realize that God punishes evil, then we can:

  • Stop doing things wrong ourselves

  • Not be afraid of evil in others

  • Fight evil in the world

Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of YHVH is to hate evil.

Unfortunately, most of us are active in being selfish, yet passive in fighting evil. The fear of God gives us an active power to resist – first in ourselves and then in others. It is said that, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” The fear of YHVH provides the moral courage to fight evil.

The fear of God is the “beginning” of wisdom. Yet for many, the fear of God is the last part of wisdom to be understood. Let us diligently seek the fear of YHVH, even as Yeshua did, in a regular habit of early morning prayer with tears and groaning (Jeremiah 5:24, Job 28:28, Mark 1:35, Hebrews 5:7).