Psalms 90, 107, 111
For quotes and other scriptures related to Psalm 90, click here
Pastor Lisa’s Journal
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.
– Psalm 111:10
Wisdom consists in doing the next thing that you have to do;
doing it with your whole heart and finding delight in doing it.
And this delight is the sense of the sacred.- Helen Luke
A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.
– William Shakespeare
In Psalm 111, the author praises God’s works (great, full of honor and majesty, wonderful, faithful, just) and God’s character (righteous, gracious, merciful, provider, trustworthy, redeemer, eternal covenant keeper, holy, awesome). All of this leads up to the last verse, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.”
Are we to fear God? For most of us, fear implies dread, horror, and terror. We fear bullies, monsters, or tyrants. This understanding of “the fear of the Lord” isn’t helpful or truthful. It doesn’t draw us to God or reveal the true character of God. The point of the psalmist is literally lost in translation, the translation of the word fear.
I find it helpful to replace the word fear with respect or reverence. When the deepest understandings of respect and reverence are linked with God’s awesomeness and otherness, we have a translation that draws us into worship, relationship and the pursuit of God’s transcendent wisdom.
Reverence of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
Assuredly, Loving Souls, you should go to God with all humility and respect,
humbling yourselves in His presence,
especially when you remember your past ingratitude and sins.
– Alphonsus Liguori
Truly humble people are grounded in reality;
they neither preen under illusions of greatness
nor suffer agonies of self-hatred.
– Paula Huston, Simplifying the Soul: Lenten Practices to Re-new Your Spirit
Fullness of knowledge always means some understanding of the depths of our ignorance; and that is always conducive to humility and reverence. – Robert Millikan
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord
Great and Faithful One
God of Honor and Majesty
Wonderful and just are your deeds
Your ways are trustworthy, gracious, and merciful
Draw us into reverent relationship with you
Save us from shallow understanding and selfish motivation
Pour out your wisdom upon us
That we may know you and adore you
And fulfill your will now and forever.
We ask this in the Name of Jesus,
Your Truth made Flesh,
Your Love made Sacrifice
Your Light to us and the world. Amen.
You are invited to join me on a summer adventure through one of the most beloved books in the Bible, Psalms. To download the Summer in the Psalms reading plan, click here Psalms Reading Plan
As you read, you are encouraged to use the SOAP Method for keeping a spiritual journal, as taught at New Hope Christian Fellowship in Hawaii. For more information on this simple and powerful way of engaging the Word of God, please click here or use the simple instructions provided in the reading plan itself.
I look forward to reading your comments and to all that Jesus will do in you and through you as you seek him this summer. – Lisa <><
PS- For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.