01/29/18 Fear of the Lord

READING: Job 25-28

“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom. And to turn from evil is understanding.”

Job 28:28

I wonder how most people might answer the question, “What is wisdom?” I suspect some might say something like, “knowledge that helps us live well” or “the essence of being wise” . . . or something like that. I doubt many would define the term with the words that Job (and others in the Bible used):

  • “The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom. And to turn from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)
  • “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.” (Psalm 111:10)
  • “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Prov. 1:7)
  • “The conclusion of the matter is this: fear God and keep his commands, because this is for all humanity.” (Eccl. 12:13)

To be wise, Job says, is to have reverence and awe for God. It is a response to God’s holiness—the proper reaction of sinful people to a perfect God. Thus, it is also directly connected to turning from wrong and keeping God’s commandments; those who truly fear God choose to be faithful and loyal to Him. Job’s friends were certain that he did not fear God, but Job had actually been living out the wisdom that reflects a healthy fear of God.

How, then, do I apply this truth in my life? If I claim to be wise, I cannot turn to my leadership, my education, or my experience for evidence. The way to evaluate my wisdom is to ask whether I respect God so much that I follow Him in obedience and loyalty. If I claim to be Christian but don’t live that way, I’m not wise. Indeed, I’m most unwise. 


  • Determine how you decide whether or not you are wise. Does it reflect fear of God and obedience to Him? 
  • Decide how much you fear God. Does your reverence for Him change the way you live? If not, it’s not reverence. 

PRAYER: “God, I know I need to fear You and live accordingly. Grow my reverence.”


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