What do humility and fear have in common in this passage? In order to understand that we need to know how the word fear is defined in respect to the text. Fear is often experienced as an emotional response to something or someone that is dangerous, or something that is likely to cause pain or is threating our life. In context of this verse in Proverbs and many other verses in the bible fear is defined as awesomeness, respect, reverence or true faithfulness. The fear of God is the action (on our part) of living in respect, awe and submission to our loving God.
In an earlier blog entry I mentioned that humility is an attitude of the mind, and the action of a servant heart. Out of this fear or reverence our heart attitude and our mind attitude should lead us to obedience in living a life that is honoring to God. God’s love (heart) and actions (mind) is the best example of humility in which we must live by. When we live in the fear of the Lord He will strengthen us, protect us, He will never forget us as we strive to live a life of humility in a world that pushes so hard against that kind of life. Living for a big God, an all knowing, always present God requires us to be humble, He is above us in every way but not out of reach with His grace and mercy and love when we call on Him.
The fear of the Lord is many things, “the beginning of knowledge” Proverbs 1:7; the beginning of wisdom” Proverbs 9:10; “a fountain of life” Proverbs 14:27. Living a life of humility comes with its rewards: riches, honor and life. Riches of knowledge and understanding as we live in Him, honor as we put others before ourselves, and life – an everlasting life with Him. God loves a humble servant.