If “wisdom” is the skill of righteous living before God and man, what is its starting place? What is the single, foundational conviction that undergirds this way of life in its entirety? Solomon is quite clear: The fear of the Lord.
But what does this phrase describe? Is it merely a holy reverence and awe? Is it also a sense of holy dread? Yes, both of these certainly are involved, but they actually are only a very small part. The fear of the Lord as it is found throughout the Bible suggests that it is more than an intellectual or emotional response to the greatness and holiness of God.
Today we will see the fear of the Lord is actually a whole set of beliefs that arise from a single, radical starting point: God is the first and ultimate and only infallible determiner of good and evil. As we will see, the events in Eden started mankind down the path of independence in the area of moral determination, which continues to lead to chaos, brokenness, despair, and death. But to fear the