The book of Proverbs starts by introduction its author. It was written by Solomon, the son of David and the king of Israel. From verse 2-6 the book then goes on to explain that its purpose it to teach the reader the various aspects of wisdom.
Solomon concludes this passage by saying in verse 7, “The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge; Wisdom and admonition the foolish ones despise.” We hear similar words in the book of Job 28:28 where the scriptures say, “And to man He said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom! And to depart from evil is understanding!“. Again in Psalms 111:10 we read, “The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; all who do them have a good understanding; His praise is standing forever!”
There are those who would like to soften the word “fear” but I believe its use is appropriate considering that Jesus Christ in Mattew 10:28 says, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” In Jesus Christ and many passages in the scriptures, we see God’s compassion and mercy. The psalmist in Psalms 145:8 we read, “The LORD is gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.” As we rejoice in this truth we need to always remember that there is judgment coming for the wickedness of this world and while there is no condemnation to us as his children we need to be fearful enough to seek complete sanctification.