This scripture could be translated: “The terror and reverential fear of God is the doorway to experience wisdom; and intimate knowledge of the sacred and holy one is the essence of knowledge and understanding.” Not a lot of people today like to talk about the terror of the Lord. Probably because a spirit of fear is not from God:
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” – II Timothy 1:7
We’ve also been given a promise in the New Covenant that we could serve the Lord without fear:
“to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear” – Luke 1:74
But the fear that the scriptures are talking about here is not the same thing. Again, our English gets in the way of interpreting the nuances of both the Hebrew and Greek languages. We have one word to describe fear, when the Hebrew and the Greek have several different meanings. In the Hebrew the word fear here is more about a reverential respect and awe, a holy terror. Imagine waiting to have an audience with the Queen of England. As you wait, you view the elegant surroundings and hundreds of years of history evident on her residence and possessions. You are briefed on the proper etiquette in addressing her and given strict instructions about your encounter. As you wait, her entrance into the room is announced, the doors swing wide and… What are you feeling in your gut? That sense of awe and respect for the office and country causes your knees to shake and tremble. Why? Because you think she will say “Off with his head!” No! Your respect for the office, the land, the country and its history creates a deep, reverential awe.
For a believer, it’s the same way with God. God, our friend and Father is also the creator of the Universe! Jesus, the author of our salvation and elder brother is also the glorified Son of God! John the apostle who leaned on the breast of the Lord Jesus as He reclined at the table (John 21:20), when he saw the Lord in His glory fell at His feet like a dead man (Revelation 1:17)! This posture of reverence and respect is the doorway to all of Wisdom. It’s no wonder why so many Christians wander in the wilderness of foolishness and stupidity! We are so glib with God and so casual with the Holy Son of God! We treat things that are Holy and set apart as common! The Glory of the New Covenant is not that the Holy has become common, but that the common has access to the Holy!
The doorway to all wisdom is a low one; you get through it on your knees.