Best of Daily Reflections: Why Is It Good to Fear God?

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.

Psalm 111:1-10

Recently a cardinal we’ve creatively named “Red” has been attacking our house. He hurls himself against our kitchen window, then picks himself up, perches on a thin ledge, and glares at us through the glass. I’ve seen him repeat this routine fifteen or twenty times in an hour.

Red is fearless, and for that I salute him. But he’s not wise. How long will it take Red to realize he’s not going to knock our house off its foundation? Because Red doesn’t have fear, he can’t have wisdom. David describes this dance of fear and wisdom in Psalm 111.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.

Without the fear of the Lord, life is lost. We are like cardinals trying to knock a house off its foundation.

How do we begin wisdom? How do we fear the Lord?

  1. Study and revere God’s works. Wisdom begins with the conviction that God is in everything. Even evil things are simply distortions of something that started out as a good gift from God. Seek God in everything. This is the highest, healthiest, happiest, and most profitable use of our energies. It is the nucleus of all true wisdom.
  2. Embrace and obey God’s will. What is God’s will? It is the long process of becoming more like Jesus who is the model human being. Wisdom begins with humbly and faithfully embracing God’s design while accepting that every other kind of life is doomed to fail.

Jesus is the centerpiece of this wisdom. He opens our eyes to the glories of God’s constant presence, and he warns us against rebellious choices that cannot succeed. This kind of fear will blossom into wisdom. Righteous choices demonstrate reverence to God. This is wisdom: accepting that it is far better to dwell in the house of the Lord than to try and knock it off its foundation.


Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.

Great are the works of the Lord,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of honor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.

He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds;
the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
in giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established forever and ever,
to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
he has commanded his covenant forever.
Holy and awesome is his name.
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

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: In what areas of life does your will tend to disagree with God’s will. Who wins? What’s the long-term result?

PRAYER: Sovereign God, sometimes my own confusion makes following you difficult. Sometimes my own rebelliousness makes following you difficult. And sometimes it’s my fear of not fitting in to the world that makes following you difficult. Be my shepherd, Lord. Comfort, correct, and lead me in the way that is everlasting. Amen.