The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
— Proverbs 9:10
Both my husband and I grew up near a seacoast—he in Angola, Africa, and me in British Columbia, Canada. But we have very different responses to the ocean.
My husband will take every opportunity to go into the water. He loves exploring, isn’t bothered by the salty feel or smell, and doesn’t seem to worry about strange creatures touching his feet.
I, on the other hand, have a “reverent fear” of the ocean. I love watching the water, listening to the sounds of the waves, and delighting in the ocean smells. But I know the power of the ocean, and I remain fearfully in awe of that power.
When I read this verse in Proverbs, I wonder if that’s the kind of fear the writer is describing. It isn’t that the Lord wants us to be afraid of him, but there is an awe and reverence necessary when we’re talking about the Creator God of the cosmos.
Fearing God implies that we recognize his great and awesome power, and this allows us to grow in wisdom. If we underestimate God or trivialize his power, we won’t understand him at all. If we treat God as less than he is, are we really loving him?
What is one way you can delight in God’s power and show reverence for him today?
Mighty and powerful God, it’s amazing that you who created the heavens and the earth would care so deeply for me. Help me to grow in wisdom so that I can delight in you more. Amen.