The Beginning of Wisdom

“I don’t get it!”  I scratched my head and reread the scripture.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;…”  (Psalm 111:10)

The very idea of fear and mercy side-by-side is almost impossible to grasp.  So, how does one see the Almighty as the epitome of mercy and yet have cause to fear Him?  The thought sank into my mind.  My eyebrows furrowed as my mind raced through every depiction of Christ that I had seen in movies, his stoic expression revealing his future’s course.  I recalled the stories of Jesus healing Jairus’s daughter, casting out Legion’s demons, and healing the leper.  I thought about Jesus taking the ultimate sacrifice to wash away the sin that I had accumulated all on my own.  I thought of God’s sacrifice for me, and the idea of fearing God became even more foreign to my mind.

So, why is the fear of Him the beginning of wisdom?

My eyes scrolled up the page and began to reread the beginning of the verse.  They paused on verse two.  “Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.”

I leaned back against the recliner and my eyes caught sight of my three-year-old’s favorite doll, Mickey Mouse.  I leaned over and picked up Logan’s toy.  “Hi, Mickey.”  I smiled at him.

Suddenly, Mickey hopped up out of my hand.  He tugged his little red shorts into place, and with a salute, he proudly turned and began to trot away.

What in the world?  My eyes bulged.  “Hey, Mickey?  Where are you going?”

His high-pitched voice chuckled back, “To do what I’ve wanted to do my whole life.”

“What’s that?”

He paused for just a moment in thought.  “I don’t know yet, but when I think of it, I’ll do it.”  He turned once again and began on his path.

“But what about my son, Logan?”  I pleaded with him.

“He doesn’t matter.  I don’t really care to be a part of his life anymore.  We always have to do what he wants to do.”

“But he just wants you to be a part of his life.  He loves you.”

Mickey turned.  “Doesn’t matter.  I don’t like it.  It’s not what I want to do.”

“But what about Walt Disney?”

“Walt who?”

“You know, Walt Disney, your creator.”  I brushed my hair behind my ears.  “He created you to be a part of other people’s lives to bring joy and happiness to others.”

“Oh yeah, that guy,” a coy smile slid across his plush lips.  “He doesn’t exist anymore.”

“What?  He doesn’t exist anymore?”

“Yeah, he wasn’t beneficial to me anymore, so now, I choose to believe he never existed.”  His index finger thumped the big white buttons on his shorts with pride.  “So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be on my way.”  Just then, he pivoted on his big yellow shoe, ducked around the corner, and was gone.

I was sickened.  How dare he?  I mean the very idea that Walt didn’t exist just because Mickey, his own creation, doesn’t want to believe in him anymore?  That’s lunacy.  My steam began to rise.  And he doesn’t want to be a part of my son’s life because he tells him what to do?  My son spent everything he owned to buy that rotten little doll.  I bit my lip.  That little booger doesn’t even deserve my son’s love.

Suddenly, my mind snapped back to reality, like a rubber band that had been stretched to its limited.  I saw that the plush Mickey Mouse was still in my hand.  Sometimes God speaks to me like a little child.  Maybe it’s because I’m so child-like.  My husband says it’s because of my Peter Pan approach to life—always seeing stories and adventures in every twist and turn of life, but whatever the reason, God had shown me a Mickey Mouse parable, right before my eyes.

Why have we, the creations of a God that loves us, turned away from Him?  Don’t we realize that just because we claim that our creator is not real it still does not negate the fact that He still IS.  I scratched my head.  And who are we, as mere humans, to turn away from the Son that paid a price owed for us that we could never possibly pay ourselves—a price determined by the sins that WE accrue?  My face dropped as the full gravity of our situation settled in.  And yet, daily, this is our case.  We turn from our creator.  We deny His existence.  We deny the Son.  We freely turn and walk away, claiming we are doing what we want to do, but not even knowing in which direction we’re headed.  We don’t realize all along that we are walking out of the hands of the one that designed us and loves us—the one that gave us the free-will to do so—escorted by the one that longs to steal, kill, and destroy us.

It’s sad that we often don’t realize our mistakes until we are standing on the outside looking in, but maybe then it’s too late.  My prayer is that it’s not too late.  My prayer is that we realize our mistake now.  My prayer is that we, who are called by His name, will humble ourselves and prayer, and turn from our wicked ways, and then He will hear from Heaven, He will forgive our sins, and He will heal our land.

I rested back into the recliner once again.  Now I get it.  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” 

The Bible isn’t referring to approaching him with shaking and trembling fear, but rather “awe” and “reverence.”  When we stand before our Creator, amongst all of His creations, we should approach Him with wonder and gratitude.  He designed and created everything that is around us and is us.  He took nothing and made crazy unimaginable things that flow together in harmony.  He created plants that create oxygen for us to breathe, and our lungs that breathe out carbon dioxide to feed the plants.  He gave us fruits and vegetables to feed us, and yet when we eat them, our bodies create fertilizer that feed the growth of our fruits and vegetables.  He created our earth with the perfect distance from the sun to give us enough cool that we don’t freeze and enough warmth that we don’t melt.  He gave it the perfect gravitational pull that we don’t float away and yet it does not pull so tightly that it crushes us.  He created everything, to the last detail, for our good, and yet instead of ever praising Him for it, we choose to blame Him for all the bad that’s in the world, claiming he’s either not real or that it’s his fault because he doesn’t stop it.

The truth is that even if he did something to stop all of the wrong, mankind would never agree upon what he should stop, because we cannot even agree upon what is evil, what is not evil, or whether evil even exists at all.  Man has become depraved in his own mind because he has turned away from his creator that is the author of what is good, what is holy, and what simply is, at all.

The fear of God—is the BEGINNING of WISDOM!



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