Begin with the Fear of YHWH
Just like every path has a trailhead, every journey has a starting point. Scripturally speaking, your journey starts with “the fear of YHWH.”
The fear of YHWH is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Churchianity and most Christian expositors would have you believe that “the fear of YHWH” can only mean “the awe and reverence of the Lord” because “God is a good God” and there is no way He would punish sin – or at least, not your sin.
To define the word “fear” in this way is to ignore the lion’s share of Scriptures on “the fear of YHWH” in the Bible.
The Hebrew word for “fear” is the word “yir’ah,”  and it means “fear,” primarily “fear and terror.” “Awe and respect and reverence” only play a secondary part in the definition.
I will naturally be “in awe and reverence” of fire, a bomb, an elephant or a gun because of what they are and what they can do (in general), but I will fear them because of what they can do to me!
True Fear vs. False Fear
Back in the day, I grew up in a normal household, where kids were spanked if they misbehaved.
My parents were bigger than me, stronger than me and pretty much controlled when I ate and slept. I had – and still have – an “awe and respect” for them, but disobedience had consequences, so I was afraid to disobey them.
Yes, the threat of pain is a great deterrent.
Over the years, I’ve noticed an incessant, ongoing effort to omit the fear/terror element from the true fear of YHWH.
This is strong evidence that the doctrines of Marcionism and Gnosticism still have a foothold in our thinking. Both philosophies sought to separate the “mean, inferior, Jewish God” of the Tanakh from the “peaceful, loving Greek-like god” of the New Testament.
I plan to comment more about the effects Marcionism and Gnosticism have on our modern-day perception of Christianity and “the Word of God” later.
Meanwhile, we must understand that though our God is indeed a loving God, it does not mean that He’s a “big mushy.” When mere mortals came face-to-face with their Creator, they were so overcome with His power and might that they dropped to their knees in terror.
Even if an angel reminded them, saying “be not afraid,” it wasn’t interpreted as “Hey, don’t worry! He’s really just a big teddy bear! Why don’t you crawl up on His lap and cuddle a little while?”
It was more like, “Hey, don’t be afraid, He’s not here to kill you.”
But the pulpit will not present “the fear of YHWH” in this way. Christian leaders know that people desire an entity that will make exceptions for their proclivities. They prefer a god in their own image – one who will “wink” at sin and turn a blind eye to their perversity.
Clarifying the Fear of YHWH
Fortunately, in the middle of all this interpretive confusion, the books of Psalms and Proverbs do an amazing job of clarifying the definition of “the fear of YHWH.”
Solomon’s father David, the “man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) was the same man who penned:
Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of YHWH.
If anyone could impart a correct understanding of “the fear of YHWH” to Solomon, certainly it would be David, the “man after God’s own heart.”
The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
Reading the verse above, it’s obvious that, to even UNDERSTAND the fear of YHWH, you have to be DOING His commandments.
And, by “commandments,” I mean the same “commandments” that David – the “man after God’s own heart” – considered to be “commandments.” These were the “commandments” laid out in the Torah.
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law [H8451 – Towrah]  is within my heart.
I cringe whenever I see people post articles, memes, and videos on Facebook from icons who have nabbed their 15 minutes of fame in the Christian spotlight – mere mortals who have no respect for the God of Israel and are not DOING His commands.
These people are not real believers. They have no idea what it means to fear YHWH.
When You Have Nothing to Offer
A passage that we will go into more later says:
My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding;
I realize that I omitted some verses in between verses 1 and 5, but it was to show a connection.
In order to even listen to wisdom, you have to be treasuring up the commands within your heart. You study them. You think about them. You try to figure out ways to live them out in your daily life.
You’re treasuring them up. That means you’re applying value . . . GREAT VALUE . . . to them.
If you don’t do this . . . if you don’t overcome the mindset that the Torah of the Most High is a “curse” and not a “blessing” . . . your ear is not “inclined” to wisdom.
Ipso facto, YOU HAVE NO GODLY WISDOM TO OFFER.
You can’t even claim to have an understanding of the fear of YHWH.
The truth is, you don’t even know God . . . and I’m sorry that sounds harsh.
I realize that accepting this connection flies in the face of our present-day perception of our own spiritual journeys and it definitely affects our perception of our religious leaders, who claim to have “the knowledge of God.”
But either the book of Proverbs is true or it’s not.
If you truly believe what the book of Proverbs is telling you, then there isn’t any “wiggle room” on this matter.
Actually Doing His Commands
To truly know God – to truly have the “the knowledge of God” – you must be doing His commands.
All of them.
Well, OK, granted, you can only do what applies to you. For example, priests have special commands, women have special commands, there are commands for certain times of the year, etc.
Just don’t make the mistake of the modern-day Christian and write it all off because you’ve been told it’s passed away or imperfect.
Modern-day Christians who think they are a little Bible-savvy love to spout “We can’t obey all the laws in the Torah! There are 613 of them! Can you imagine having to obey 613 laws??”
Do you know how many laws you obey in America? There are internet laws, tax laws, municipal laws, moral laws, educational laws and more!
I have no idea the exact number of laws that we obey in America, but it certainly adds up to more than 613.
Besides, once you take the 613 laws in context, omit the laws that don’t apply to you and the laws that are impossible (ie. you can’t bring sacrifices to the Temple because there isn’t a Temple to bring sacrifices to), that number decreases dramatically.
But Christianity will never embrace this because it goes against standard indoctrination and requires a life change.
If you want to know YHWH – if you want to obey YHWH – stop looking for the “easy out,” because it’s not there.
Cultivating the Heart of David
The man after God’s own heart wrote:
The law [H8451 – Towrah] of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law [H8451 – Towrah] of the LORD!
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations.
The works of His hands are verity and justice; All His precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.
He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name.
Either those words are true, or David – “the man after God’s own heart” – is a liar.
I choose to believe David was telling the truth.
Christianity scoffs at those words. They believe they have something “better.”
Here’s an example of the heart that we want to cultivate.
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for I have hoped in Your ordinances. So shall I keep Your law [H8451 – Towrah] continually, forever and ever.
What was considered “the word of truth?”
How long are we to keep it?
Allow yourself to put two and two together, friends.
His Words, Not Mine
As much as it may be hard to hear, the Bible states that men who ignore God’s commands do not know God.
This is not me speaking; this is clearly stated in His Word.
All of our religious leaders who do not think it worthwhile to pay attention to YHWH’s commands set forth from the beginning are liars. They do not know God.
They may be “nice.”
They may be “loving.”
They may have the best of intentions, but they are lying.
Think of how many millions of books, sermons, and videos have been created and composed by men and women claiming to have knowledge from the Most High, when all their work is destined for Heaven’s trash heap.
Think of how many of those books, sermons and videos are still revered today? The Purpose-Driven Life? The Harbinger? My Utmost For His Highest? Anything by Martin Luther? Selah.
These books may be some of your favorites. They may contain content that resonated within you. They may have affected your emotions and influenced your decisions, but if they did not place GREAT VALUE on obeying the commandments set forth in Torah . . . it’s a one-way trip to the trash.
And I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but either David and Solomon were right, or they were wrong.
You choose what you want to believe.
-  H3374 – yir’ah – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (KJV) –
-  H8451 – towrah – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (KJV) –