Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
One final look at Proverbs 9 points to the central verse in the whole chapter and a foundational thought concerning wisdom. It simply says that all wisdom starts with reverence for the Lord. The word for beginning means beginning, starting point, or chief or choice point.
There was a similar verse in Proverbs 1, verse 7 which says, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. The Interpreter's Bible once again contains some rich insight into the meaning of these verses, I believe. "Wise living does not remove fear entirely. It consists in fearing the right things. . . . To add the fear of the LORD to these and many other fears that haunt men today seems to add to a list of fears that is already too long. Perhaps if we feared God more we would fear everything else less. We can rightly fear the consequences of violating the physical and moral laws through which the creative power of God works. There is something to fear in our flouting of the basic structure of the universe. The foundation of wisdom lies in knowing what we ought to fear. Reverence for the Lord includes an awed regard for the power of God and a sober recognition of the consequences of trying to violate the laws which he has ordained. . . . Reverence for the Lord means taking God into account. Come people do not despise God--they simply act as if he did not exist."
The fear of the Lord, I believe, has to do with putting God in the right place in our lives, simply recognizing Him as God! Why should we not revere the One who is all-wise, all-knowing, and all-powerful?! But note that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If wisdom begins with fear, where does it end? I believe that John tells us in 1 John 4:18. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. As we open our lives to God in fear of Him, we find His love. And His love draws us into that relationship with Him that has the power to consume all other fears and release us into the fullness of His love. His love envelops us in His goodness, which desires the very best for us and for all of His creation.