Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgement.Proverbs 9:10 (NLT)
We humans have an image problem – a couple of them in fact. First, we distort the image of God. Second, when we look in the mirror we often see god.
Our image of God has been distorted by what I call “the sin problem.” It’s like looking at a reflection in a funhouse mirror, (For those who’ve never experienced it, funhouse mirrors are the ones that are slightly bent or curved and make you reflection look funny.) we see a reflection, but it’s not entirely accurate. Often times this makes us see God as one who punishes sinners, or a God that is unfair and judgmental. Indeed this is the image that too many in our societies hold. God is to be feared and hated.
Additionally, we often times believe that we are somehow smarter, or wiser than God. He directs us one way, but we believe ours is better. Often times His way is long and winding. We’d rather take a shortcut that we think will get things done better and faster. Instead of recognizing God as supreme, we decide that we can be god too.
Both of these images of God are born out of an incorrect understanding of God. That He is a fearmonger. And, this verse, can be incorrectly construed that way. However, the word ‘fear’ used in our verse today doesn’t actually mean that we should run and hide because God’s wrath is coming our way. Instead, the Hebrew word behind it simply means utmost respect for His power, wisdom, and glory. It’s not a bad thing.
So, then, our verse states, respect for God, His power, wisdom, and glory, “is the foundation of wisdom.” Now we’ve got a better image of God coming into view.
God can see the past, present, and future. He can see pitfalls, traps, and deadly curves ahead. So, He routes us, with His wisdom, down the path that will lead us closer to Him, even if it’s not a direct route. The route He chooses for each of us is always right (He’s perfect after all).
Today, and every day, pray for God’s wisdom to be supreme in your life. Let Him guide your every step. Ask for forgiveness for the times you’ve ignored it. Recommit to respecting God’s power, wisdom, and glory.