In the Bible, Proverbs 1:7 says, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." An interesting word, in that verse, is the word fear. The word fear, or a form of the word, is used over 500 times in the Bible, and, if put on a continuum, the translations range on one end from outright fear, to awe and respect, on the other end. However, the root word for all the fear words is a form of the English word "phobia," which means "an exceeding dread" or "fear of."
In other words the Bible says I am to fear God, as in being afraid of Him. Before He drew me to Himself I had no fear of Him, in fact, in my mind, He didn't exist. Now, as He teaches me about Himself, and I understand a little of His majesty, power, and sovereignty, I comprehend what He means in Romans 1:20: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."
This means, even before He saved me, I had no excuse not to see Him in His creation and experience His glory in the grass, trees, flowers, sky, clouds, sun, moon, stars, and on and on. Genesis 2:7 says that God "breathed into his (Adam's) nostrils the breath of life" When God breathed that breath of life into Adam, it gave Adam the ability to conceive of God, and because of that mankind has no excuse- (Romans 1:20)- for not seeing God in His creation.
The exceeding fear and dread comes from His power and omniscience to speak the creation into existence, Genesis1:3-25. The powers found in His creation, i.e. tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, the power in the sun to heat and light the day, to name a few. The fact I have no defense against the fury of His creation strikes fear in my heart.
At the other end of my thought process, I am overwhelmed with awe and respect from the beauty of His creation, along with its precision and His love intertwined throughout. That love, of course, is you and me and the rest of mankind.
Yes, I find wisdom in books authored by mankind, inventions and creations from mankind, but they are dated and change, while the Bible says "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever," Hebrews 13:8. Through fear of that singleness of purpose and power, it seems to me it's a pretty good source of wisdom, too
All scripture passages are from the NASB
Hugh Houchin is retired, but enjoys fulltime freelance writing. His publishing credits include articles and columns in western Nebraska newspapers and numerous websites.
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