“Too soon old; too late smart.”
“Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
And there is my personal favorite: “I didn’t do it!” (I heard time and again as a father and as a pastor.)
But these are human wisdom. They are wisdom spoiled and bent out of shape and proportion by Satan, a sin-filled world, and human sinfulness.
Verse ten of our Psalm (Psalm 111) says an awful lot about how we should act and think, though. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.” But sadly, it seems to be lacking in us and our fellow human beings.
Part of the problem is that people don’t understand or appreciate the word “fear.” Many people reject the word outright as something from a different time or language. They may understand fear as terror or some such thing, but I sincerely doubt that was the Psalmist’s thinking. Rather, we might better understand this fear as godly respect and trust. Just try substituting godly respect and trust in our verse: “Godly respect and trust is the beginning of wisdom….” Or we might say, “Godly obedience” or possibly substitute some other word, but I think you may see where I am coming from, and where we should be going.
The fear of the Lord is an offering of genuine worship. It is an attitude of obedience and trust. It is where the “rubber meets the road.” The fear of the Lord is the point where we make real and heartfelt contact with our God and Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Where it is lacking, there is no worship. When it is absent, there is no service to God. Many people only go through the motions of fearing God, but it is only lip service. Whatever good that may be accomplished doesn’t redound to God’s glory.
So, search your soul and check it out. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.”
We pray: Heavenly Father, give us of your Son’s sacrifice and the Spirit’s witness that we might truly fear you and serve you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.