The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever. Psalm 111:10 NRSV
The psalms mention fear of God many times but this is the verse that comes immediately to mind when I think of fear in scripture: the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. I think the indicative word in this verse is the word "beginning." Without that word, the verse would read: The fear of the Lord is wisdom. With the use of the word beginning, this says to me that fearing God does not make one wise but it is simply the beginning of being wise. It is as though fearing God is the first step. There are many more steps yet to come to be truly wise.
The rest of this sentence says that all who practice fearing God have a good understanding. I understand many things but I don't always do them! Comprehension is only a part of wisdom. Wisdom also involves living your life in a right way, not just knowing how to live your life in the right way.
And the verse ends with the acknowledgment that praising God goes on forever. That is more important that fearing God! Perhaps it is the praise of God that is the heart of wisdom.
God, we praise and honor you now and forever. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2009 Amelia G. Sims