What is the correlation between wisdom and the fear of God? Can a worldly person who does not fear God be wise? In the last post, we learned that wisdom is a mystery. We also learned that it is better to have wisdom than gold, silver, and jewels and we need to seek it by seeking God because He is the one that gives wisdom. Lastly, we learned the difference between a wise and worldly person.
As I prayed and asked God to give me a greater understanding of wisdom, I saw in scripture that wisdom is linked with the fear of God and understanding. Why? Here are a few scriptures that outline the relationship between wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and the fear of God.
First, what is the fear of God?
The fear of the Lord is to have deep respect, love, and awe for God that you want to do the following:
1. Praise Him. Psalms 22:23 states, “You who fear the Lord, praise Him! …glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, …”
2. Serve Him. 1 Samuel 12:24 states, “Only fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things He has done for you.”
3. Trust Him. Psalms 115:11 also states; “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.”
4. Obey Him. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 states, “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13and to keep [obey] the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I am commanding you today for your good?”
5. Turn from evil. Proverbs 8:13 states, “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” When you sin, you do evil because sin is disobeying God. God commands us to love others as He loves them. Evil people do not love others, but they do and say things to harm or cause trouble for people (Webster
Correlation between fear of God, wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.
Psalm 111:10 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!” We need to practice, that is do something over and over to become good at it. Understanding means several things. Dictionary.com (2022) says understanding is a mental process of a person who comprehends; has a superior power of discernment; enlightened intelligence, etc. Job 28:28 states, “And he [God] said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”
Proverbs 1:7 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge [of God]; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” And, Psalm 14:1 states, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.” Based on these last two verses, a worldly person, who does not fear God, cannot be wise because their hearts are evil and not good. Because Proverbs 9:10-12 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. 11For by me [God] your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.
What are the benefits of fearing God?
- God’s angel protects you, and you will be blessed, and you will lack nothing. Psalms 34:7-9 states, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8) Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! 9) Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!”
- God will help you and shield you from all harm. Psalm 115:11 states, “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD! He is their help and their shield.” Proverbs 19:23 “The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.”
- You will have confidence and you will feel safe. Proverb 14:26 states, “In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge.”
- You will have wisdom and know what to do. Psalms 111:10 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.”
- You will have a long life. Proverbs 10:27 “The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be short.”
- You will have healing. Proverbs 3:7-8 states, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. 8) It will be healing to your flesh (body; NAS) and refreshment to your bones.”
- You will be blessed. Proverbs 28:14 states, “Blessed is the one who fears the LORD always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity (the pit).”
- It will go well with you. 1Samual 12:14 states, “If you will fear the LORD and serve him and obey his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God, it will be well.”
- You will have riches, honor, and life. Proverbs 22:4 states, “The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.” Is this something you would like? Read “How Pride Destroys” Pride keeps you from being in awe of God and submitting to His authority and turning from your sin.
Fearing God is easy when you keep your mind focused on seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. See the blog post called How do you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? for more details. Job 12:13 states, “With God are wisdom and might; he has counsel and understanding.”
Proverbs 2:1-5 sums up this post, “My son [daughter], if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. The key to getting wisdom is to intentionally seek it. You need the fear of God to have wisdom, understanding, and to know God, but you won’t understand the fear of God and find knowledge until you seek to understand and desire wisdom. Do you fear God by obeying Him and turning from your evil desires (lusts)? Are you praising God and trusting Him to give you wisdom?
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