The sayings in Proverbs are so practical and the imagery is so detailed, it can be hard to see meanings beyond the literal. Sometimes, the way things are said in Proverbs doesn't make that any easier. One of those shows up in Sunday’s Old Testament reading (and about 1.38 jillion other places in the Bible), the idea of fearing the Lord.
Because it gets translated as "fear," it can sound like you are supposed to be afraid of God, which doesn't track at all with how Jesus talks about God. For people who prefer the "I-think-I-know-what-it-says-I-don't-need-to-read-it" edition of the Bible, this view can put God and Jesus in conflict.
Except that's not what "fearing" the Lord means. It really has several levels of meaning. At its most basic, it means awareness that we are created beings and that God is our creator.
But it also points to the relationship that God wants with each of us. God loves each of us. And God wants each of us to love him, so much that the only "fear" that we have is a fear of disappointing the one who loves us.
More on this tomorrow.