Dive into Psalm 111's profound message on the "fear of the Lord" as the foundation of wisdom, highlighting reverence, awe, and a relationship with Christ for true understanding.
Psalm 111 — Fear of the Lord — Aneel Aranha
Praise the LORD.
I will extol the LORD with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
Great are the works of the LORD;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise.
I am sure you have heard the phrase, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." It comes from this psalm and the book of Proverbs (Proverbs 9:10).
At first glance, the idea of "fearing" God might seem at odds with the modern understanding of a loving and compassionate deity. But let's dig into this a bit. In biblical terms, the "fear of the Lord" doesn't mean we should be terrified of God as one might be of a tyrant. Instead, it refers to a profound reverence, awe, and respect for the Almighty. It's recognizing God's infinite power, righteousness, and majesty and, consequently, responding with humility and devotion.
Now, why is this fear equated with the beginning of wisdom? In the biblical sense, wisdom isn't just about knowledge or intelligence. It's about living rightly, making choices that align with God's will, and understanding life from a divine perspective. When we approach life with reverence for God, we lay a foundation for making decisions that reflect his character and purposes.
Isn't it fascinating how something as profound as wisdom begins with something as simple as reverence? It's a humble acknowledgment that we don't have all the answers, but we know the One who does. That, of course, is Jesus. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul writes: "But to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ (is) the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:24)
A relationship with Christ, grounded in the fear of the Lord, or if you prefer, grounded in reverence and awe, becomes the lens through which we can view and navigate the world. Consequently, we will find ourselves on the path of true wisdom. Let us choose that path today if we haven't already.
I gave a sermon on this subject a few months ago. If you would like a deeper understanding, please watch it. You can find the link in the transcript (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRKMwAqRS0w).
God bless you.