Main point summary
Understanding the fear of the Lord comes in living by God's Word; so let us seek God's Word with all our heart, mind, & will.
According to Jerry Bridges, "There was a time when committed Christians were known as God-fearing people. This was a badge of honor." Proverbs uses the phrase "fear of the Lord" 14 times and there are numerous other references found throughout the Bible. What does the Bible mean to "fear God?" C. S. Lewis references the term in many of his writings, but specifically describes it in his book The Problem of Pain and states that fear of the Lord is not a fear that one feels for a tiger, or even a ghost. Rather, the fear of the Lord, as C. S. Lewis describes it, is one filled with awe, in which you "feel wonder and a certain shrinking" or "a sense of inadequacy to cope with such a visitant of or prostration before it". It is a fear that comes forth out of love for the Lord. "What does it mean to have the fear of God?" Answer: For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31). For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. The believer's fear is reverence of God like how C.S. Lewis described it. Hebrews 12:28-29 is a good description of this: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ’God is a consuming fire.’” This reverence and awe is exactly what the fear of God means for Christians. This is the motivating factor for us to surrender to the Creator of the Universe. In Proverbs 2:1-6 we learn there are actions we need to pursue if the "fear of the Lord" is to be our experience as Christians and for us to be known as God's God-fearing people. In verse 1 "receive God's Word". That is, make learning of God's Word something that is sought and pursued as that which is of the highest value (verses 1-2). Desire God's Word into our minds and the center of our being, our hearts. Verse 3 calls us to "call out for insight." In other words, make known your desire to learn and do not be silent in asking for help. Ask questions and ponder answers in light of Scripture in order to further understanding. The third action we are wise to pursue is "seek God's Word." That is according to verse 4, follow through on following God's Word. The key here is the word, "hidden treasures." It is similar as what we saw in verse 1. Understanding God's Word is valuable so be active in going after it; engage our wills. Effort is needed and required to dig out of God's Word truth that brings us deeper into being a God-fearing person. The Lord wants us to know Him. The Lord promises in verse 6 to give us wisdom, knowledge of Himself and understanding. As we actively purse the non-automatic actions: of receiving God's Word, calling out for insight, and seeking God's Word the result will be a deeper understanding of the fear of the Lord. In other words, a spiritual healthy growing God fearing person. Deuteronomy 10:12, 20-21 records, “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Fear the LORD your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.” The fear of God is the basis for our walking in His ways, serving Him, and, yes, loving Him.
My son, if you receive my words
The conditions by which God's Word changes me. First , do not ignore God's Word.
and treasure up my commandments with you,
That is, make God's Word the thing you most value and do.
making your ear attentive to wisdom
By meditating on God's Word seeking to find by it wisdom.
and inclining your heart to understanding ;
That is, lean on God's Word so it becomes the center of your understanding.
yes, if you call out for insight
Second , make it known your desire to understand by God's Word.
and raise your voice for understanding ,
That is, do not be silent in asking for help.
if you seek it
Third , follow thru on what God's Word is saying.
Just as one values worldly treasure.
and search for it
That is, make serious effort.
as for hidden treasures,
Just as if you were digging for hidden treasures.
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
The result of the 3 conditional actions above : You will know the meaning of the fear of the Lord.
and find the knowledge of God .
That is, a deeper walk with God.
For the Lord gives wisdom ;
Because, the Lord gives us experience of Himself.
from His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
That is, God's Word is the way He has provided for us to know and understand Him.