The Fear Of God Is The Beginning Of Wisdom: Why It Is Vital To Our Spiritual Growth

What does it mean when we say that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom? Proverbs 1:7 tells us, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” This old proverb has been used numerous times in history to explain and encourage people to live virtuously and seek guidance from a divine source.

The idea behind the teaching of this proverb is that acknowledging a higher power can lead to a better understanding of oneself and the world around them. By recognizing the authority of a divine being, people can gain a greater sense of perspective and purpose in life. This passage is a powerful reminder to believers that a humble and reverent attitude towards a higher power can help guide individuals toward a life of wisdom, morality, and purpose.

What Does “The Fear Of God Is The Beginning Of Wisdom” Mean?

In Proverbs 9:10, it is written, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” This theme of reverence for the Lord as the foundation of wisdom is written multiple times throughout the book of Proverbs.

The verse emphasizes the importance of having reverent awe and respect for God as the foundation of wisdom and understanding. It suggests that for a wise person to gain true knowledge and insight, one must start by recognizing God’s power and authority in the universe.

The phrase implies that gaining wisdom begins with the fear of God. The concept of the fear of the Lord in this context refers to a sense of reverence and awe towards a higher power or authority[1]. Fools despise wisdom, but a wise person recognizes the importance of fearing God and embracing wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is believed to lead to a deeper understanding and appreciation of life, as it inspires humility and a desire to live in harmony with one’s beliefs and the values of all the people on earth. By recognizing the power and sovereignty of the holy one, or the Lord God, one can gain wisdom and insight that cannot be found elsewhere on earth.

In essence, the fear of the Lord is the foundation upon which wisdom is built. It leads to a greater understanding of reality and the relationship between oneself, the world, and the universe. It is God Himself who leads those who fear Him toward the path of righteousness and truth. Thus, embracing the fear of the Lord is the beginning of the path to gaining true wisdom.

Why Is The Fear Of God The Beginning Of Wisdom?

The fear of God is considered the beginning point of wisdom because it establishes a foundation of humility, respect, and awe towards the creator or a higher power or authority. By recognizing and respecting the power and sovereignty of God or a higher force, one can then gain knowledge and a deeper understanding of oneself and the world around them.

In this context, the concept of fear does not necessarily mean terror or dread of evil but rather a sense of reverence and awe. It implies acknowledging that there are limitations to one’s understanding and control and that there is a need to rely on the presence of a higher power for guidance and wisdom.

Furthermore, fearing God leads to serious thinking, a desire to live in harmony with one’s beliefs and values, and a desire to seek righteousness, justice, faith, and truth. It inspires humility and a willingness to learn, which are crucial elements in the pursuit of wisdom.

Living with deep reverence for God can help us develop a greater understanding of the world around us, which can guide our actions and decisions in a more meaningful and fulfilling way. Ultimately, the fear of God can be seen as a path toward enlightenment and connection with the divine.

reading a book and fear of god is the beginning of wisdom

How Does The Fear Of God Lead To Wisdom?

The fear of God is often referred to as a deep sense of respect, awe, worship, and reverence for the divine. This fear of God is rooted in the understanding and faith that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and just, and that He holds ultimate authority over all things. When a person fears God and worships Him, they acknowledge His sovereignty and submit to and obey His will. The fear of the Lord can lead to wisdom in several ways:

1. It Can Inspire A Person To Seek Knowledge And Understanding Of God’s Ways.

When a person fears God, they recognize that their own understanding and wisdom are limited, and they look to God’s Word for guidance to obtain wisdom and direction. As they study the Scriptures and seek to understand God’s character and will, they hope to gain knowledge of the Holy Will that can guide their decisions and actions.

2. The Fear Of The Lord Can Lead To Humility.

When a person recognizes their own sin and limitations and submits to God’s authority, they become more humble and teachable. They are willing to listen to others, learn from their mistakes, and seek wise counsel.

3. The Fear Of The Lord Leads To Obedience.

When a person fears God, they recognize that they are accountable to Him for their actions. They seek to honor God in all that they do, and they are motivated to live a life that is pleasing to Him. This obedience leads to wise choices and actions that are in line with God’s will.

The fear of the Lord can lead a soul to wisdom and salvation by inspiring a person to seek knowledge and understanding from scripture, fostering humility and teachability in children, and motivating obedience to God’s will.

What Does “The Fear Of God Is The Beginning Of Wisdom” Mean For Us Today?

The fear of the Lord enables one to acknowledge their limitations and accept correction, leading to wisdom. Those who willingly reject God’s instruction due to complacency and refuse to obey His counsel are foolish (Proverbs 1:7).

They disregard the opinions of others and rely solely on their own understanding (Proverbs 18:2), which can be dangerous. Furthermore, following one’s heart can be disastrous, as the heart is deceitful above all else (Jeremiah 17:9).

In contrast, those who are wise study the scriptures to understand God’s expectations. One way to connect with God’s teachings is to practice Lectio Divina, an ancient approach that involves meditating on a passage from various perspectives—literal, spiritual, allegorical, and practical.

The Bible instructs us to love God and others as Jesus did (Matthew 22:36–40). By following God’s Word, we demonstrate our reverence for Him as the Almighty. As we pursue wisdom continually, we create a secure and honorable environment in our homes (Proverbs 3:35; Proverbs 14:16).

To gain wisdom, we need to begin by recognizing and acknowledging the existence and authority of a higher power. When we fear God, we understand that there are limitations to our own knowledge and understanding, and we are humbled and blessed by the realization that we are not in control of everything. This recognition and a good understanding of our limitations and dependence on God are the foundations for true wisdom.

Furthermore, the fear of the Lord also implies a deep respect for the moral law and ethical principles. When we fear God, we understand that He has established moral laws that govern our behavior and that violating these laws has grave consequences. This understanding leads us to embrace wisdom and live according to moral and ethical principles, which are essential for true wisdom.

Today, where individualism and self-reliance are often valued above all else, the fear of the Lord reminds us that we are not the ultimate authority in our lives. By recognizing our dependence on God and living according to His principles, we as believers can gain wisdom to help us make wise decisions and live fulfilling lives.

woman with curly hair praying on bed and fear of god is the beginning of wisdom


The age-old proverb Fear the Lord holds significant meaning in our lives. It emphasizes the importance of recognizing a higher power and respecting its laws and teachings.

It’s important to remember that the fear here does not mean cowering in terror but rather a deep reverence for God and His authority over our lives. Through this fear, we can gain a sense of humility, which is a crucial foundation for developing wisdom. Ultimately, this reminds us of the importance of being mindful of our actions and striving to live a virtuous life that aligns with God’s will.

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