1 My son, if you will receive my words
And treasure my commandments within you,
2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom,
Incline your heart to understanding;
3 For if you cry for discernment,
Lift your voice for understanding;
4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.
What is the fear of the Lord? This wise father clearly desires his child to discern it, but this is not so easy as one might expect. The child need not work to fear embarrassment or failure, abandonment or ridicule. Fear of other’s opinions comes quite naturally.
To discern the fear of the Lord, however, requires effort. One must be attentive to the wisdom of earlier generations, and treasure what they say. Humility is needed, with a desire to learn. These things alone may not be enough, one also needs the courage to ask questions and seek challenges.
But the path is worth taking, for it leads to hidden treasures.
Does it seem too difficult? Consider the alternative. Easy paths will take you nowhere worth going. Those on the easy path mock the fear of the Lord. And why shouldn’t they? Many things seem ridiculous when misunderstood.
The fear of the Lord appears to be a burden, but in fact it is the key to freedom. It is an acknowledgement of accountability. The fool rejects this, allowing his desires to enslave him. Accountability is a guardrail, keeping us from wrecking our lives.
The fear of the Lord also frees us from all other fears. Those who do not fear the Lord are bound to fear something – if not everything – else.