The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. (Psalm 111:7-8)
He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name! The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! (Psalm 111:9-10)
He sent redemption to his people—a ransom for the release of captives. Release of captives. Ever been in a closed-in space for a length of time? Think about coming out—seeing the sunshine—taking that first big breath of fresh air.
Jesus came and lived the sinless life I couldn’t and then he took my punishment—all to release me from my captivity. Believing takes me out into the Sonshine and that first big breath of really fresh air. The ransom has been paid. I’m free!
But that’s not the end. I’ve been freed to something—not just from something. God sends his ransom—and then comes the fear of the Lord.
Fear means respect or reverence—seeing him as holy and awesome. Awe. Deep respect. Humility. Things like that are the beginning of wisdom.
Then there’s “those who practice it.” Practice what?
It goes back to fearing the Lord. Those who practice fearing the Lord will go beyond the beginning of wisdom into good understanding.
In other words, as I practice focusing on God, I grow more like him. I make better choices. I build living skills. I understand.