“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
~Proverbs 9:10 (KJV).
Many are confused as to the path to take to wisdom and seemingly the concept of the ‘fear of the Lord’ is part of that confusion. After all, why should we be scared of God? Of course, there’s more to it. (For more study on this see the links below.)
What is the beginning of wisdom, or otherwise the “foundation” (NLT) or “chief and choice part” (Amplified), is not the end of the matter, and this too can confuse us.
The End of Wisdom
Since we’ve discussed and proffered over the beginning of Wisdom, and particularly in studying Proverbs, now we consume some thought for its end—if indeed there is an end! Allow me to suggest the following as a construct of thought to this end:
The logical end point in the practice of the wisdom motive, at least so long as our circumstances are concerned – in our decision making, for instance – is not doing so for the awed respect of God (otherwise, ‘fear of the Lord’), but simply because it’s the right thing to do.
Achieving God’s will, thus, has become an intrinsic passion. It’s what must now happen for us, beyond even our personal desires.
There’s a sense of moral congruence that this person-of-wisdom exhibits in this. They’re beyond being consumed by the ‘fear of the Lord,’ however, it is still—and always will be—foundational. It has to be.
Maturing in the Faith
Going on from the beginning of Wisdom, then, is about a fuller acceptance of the reason enfolded of faith—to act a certain way, and that, implicit of any other motivation. Wisdom action is central to the core here. It’s the only way we can be now.
The end of Wisdom, perhaps, is truth, or as M. Scott Peck puts it, a pure dedication to the truth ideal; and this is about a critical path of honesty at all costs. This is when we really know a pungently powerful wisdom, one that subsists in us more and more each day. And life corresponds confirming it’s the right way to live.
When we no longer care about the costs of exhibiting integrity, and that alone and above all, we suddenly find that Wisdom has both met and kissed us (Proverbs 24:26).
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.
Two Useful Links on the ‘fear of the Lord’: