God, Himself says in the bible to fear Him, for by fearing Him it is the beginning of godly wisdom. This is in addition to worldly wisdom in terms of moral, political and even understanding, but in terms of godly wisdom from above. Psa. 90:11-12 says, “Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. Teach us to number our day aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Notice it say a “heart of wisdom” not intellect or knowledge in the human and worldly sense of wisdom but that the heart may contain the wisdom of God, which is considered “wisdom from above”.
Some examples of God speaking to His people and His children on why they should fear Him, and that fear according to Him is the beginning of wisdom. In other words the fear of God is first and far most in gaining wisdom from above. God is a very jealous God, He says so in the bible. He says this of Himself, that He is jealous, and admits it to His people, the children of Israel. To fear Him is the beginning of wisdom.
Ever known a jealous person, spouse, friend family member? Here’s an example of jealousy within a family, “When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children, she became jealous of her sister…” (Gen. 30:1). She even went on to tell Jacob to give her children or she would die. Sounds kind of dramatic, right? Jealous people can be scary, obsessive and even over the top at times and basically God has promised the same to His people, see: Ex. 34:14; Deut. 4:24; Zeph. 3:8.
Now because of God’s jealousy, He commands those who will come to Him for salvation and eternal life to fear Him. He can do far more harm than any man can do to another. Psa. 56:4 say “…What can mortal man do to me?” Accord to the psalmist it is wiser to be more afraid of God than to be afraid of “mortal man.”
It is important for Christians and believers to understand the two-fold meaning of “Fear of the Lord”.
The Fear of the Lord in reference to His reverence, honor, glory and sovereignty.
The Fear of the Lord in reference to His fear, terror, calamity and destruction.
The only way to fear God is through submission, humbleness and humility. These godly and spiritual traits are hard to find among the Christian community of today. Even in reverence to God there must be submission and humbleness. Even in being terrified of God there must be submission and humbleness. God knows whose heart is for Him and whose does not really fear Him. They may reverence Him and honor Him but they do not posses the “Fear of God” in their hearts.
God addresses the children of Israel about their lack of fear when it comes to Him. He is concerned that they are constantly turning their heart aside to other peoples and idols of the land. He knows that some of His children only pay Him honor through lip service, but their hearts are not in it. It a this is what I’m supposed to do and not a willingness to do it. The reason for no willingness is because there is no real fear of God anywhere in their hearts. And so we come to the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom for here on earth and in heaven.
Here’s what God has to say, “Should you not fear Me? Should you not tremble in My presence?” (emphasis added) How many Christians do you know tremble when they are in the presence of God? How many do you know will humbly bow down to God in fear?