“If you really want to gain knowledge, you have to begin by having respect for the Lord. But foolish people hate wisdom and training.” (Proverbs 1:7, NIRV)
The Hebrew word used here for fear suggests reverence and awe. A person seeking wisdom is willing to bow down to God simply because of the awe and respect they feel for Him. This phrase also suggests total dependence on God.
I am reminded of my relationship with my earthly father. My Daddy was a wonderful man whom I loved with all my heart and respected so much. He was the perfect example of a godly father. Highly respected in our community, he was a fair and wise man. Yet I knew my boundaries with him. I had a proper fear of him. Not the kind born of bad experience (unless you would call the holy discipline of spanking ‘bad’), but rather awe and respect for him. I loved him with all my heart and desired to please him. This is the ‘fear’ of which the Bible speaks.
Our culture does not teach this kind of fear or respect, t…