Read Proverbs Chapter 1
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Proverbs 1:7 CSB
The Hebrew word fear in this context, literally means reverential awe. In other words: The reverential awe of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.
Fear is often misunderstood in this verse. It is respect for the Lord. It is an understanding that He is all powerful, can do all things. He doesn’t want us to fear having a relationship with Him. He just wants us to respect what each of our roles are in it. He is God. We are not. Simple.
Unfortunately, one of the things that impacts our feelings towards God is the relationship we had/have with our earthly father. Because we think of God as father, and we have only one earthly father, it is easy to see why we tend to do that.
For me, I had a great Dad. He was God fearing, took us to church every week, raised us in the Lord. One of my favorite memories is my Dad smoking a cigarette before church in his gray suit. The only day of the week my Dad ever wore a suit was on Sunday. Dad was a strict Dad by a lot of standards, but I always knew I was his little princess. He spoiled me rotten. I always knew my Dad loved me.
It’s easy for me to envision a loving God. It’s easy for me to respect God, because I know the respect I had for my father. Others have not shared the same blessing with me. Their fathers were distant, completely absent. Their relationships with men in general have not been good experiences. Asking them to trust in a loving Father figure is harder. Asking them to have reverential awe for Him after their experiences with their earthly father seems impossible. Why would anyone have reverential awe for God when there is so much pain in the world? Because there is also a lot of good in the world. Because when you begin to have reverential awe for God, you will begin to see the good. When you start to see the good, you will start to see how God, as you believe and trust in Him, works all things to the good (Romans 8:28 NIV).
This is where wisdom starts, with reverential awe.