The Beginning of Wisdom

The Beginning of Wisdom

Two kings... two outcomes... one chose foolishness; one chose wisdom. Both experienced fear, but the object of their fear sealed their fate. Saul feared man. David feared the Lord. This same choice is presented to you. Will you choose wisely?

Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Most people wouldn’t identify themselves as fearing man, but I think it’s much more prevalent than we are willing to admit. I would venture to say that a great number of people who use social media are entangled in fear of man. In a nutshell, fear of man is when you concern yourself with the thoughts and opinions others have about you.  Fear of man describes our insatiable desire to please people. When we place a premium upon what other people think, we elevate them to an ungodly place in our lives making them an idol. Ouch!  I think at some point in our lives, we all have been entangled in fear of man. 

Proverbs 29:25 “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”

Fear of man and a controlling spirit go hand in hand. When I struggled with fear of man, I was controlling of others because I wanted things to turn out a certain way, especially those things that were a reflection of me. I exerted control over those people who were closest to me, mainly my family. My kids had to behave a certain way, my husband had to march to a certain beat, all because I was concerned about what others would think of me. The core problem in my life was fear of rejection. In my childhood, I had an experience in which I learned that if I failed at something, I would be rejected by those I love. So, I made an inner vow never to fail. That was one of the worst decisions of my life! It was absolutely exhausting!  Despite this, I kept the vow for several decades.  

Thankfully, I was set free from a spirit of the fear of rejection in my mid-20s, but that spirit of control held on the longest, I was finally set free in my 40s. My path to freedom involved a crisis, my youngest son was diagnosed with kidney failure and failure to thrive at 10 months old.  The trauma of nearly losing him on several occasions shook me to my core. I quickly discovered I had no control over the situation and I was failing at my most basic role as a mother, which was to nourish my baby through breastfeeding. The “failure to thrive” diagnosis absolutely crushed me. My inability to provide enough breast milk nearly killed him! After about a year of counseling, one Sunday morning, during worship, I heard a loud snap. It was the sound of the spirit of control being broken in my life. I was no longer enslaved by that stinkin’ spirit. My chains were broken and I was free. My entire perspective on life began to change. I no longer had an internal need to control others. Of course, I had to retrain myself on how to function in relationships and that took some time.  I was so used to dancing to the beat of control, it was foreign to dance to a different beat. But before long, I figured out how to love without strings attached. It was invigorating and my family definitely appreciated the shift.

A year or so after my deliverance, Alistair Petrie came to our church for a conference on spiritual mapping and stewardship of the land. He spoke about the fear of the Lord and I was deeply intrigued. I wanted to learn how to walk in the fear of the Lord. He said fear of the Lord is marked by three characteristics: reverent awe, radical obedience, and hatred of evil. I longed to walk in the fear of the Lord, so I began diving deep into God’s word to gain knowledge. 

The Hebrew word for “fear” in Proverbs 9:10 is ‘yir’â’, which has three levels of meaning.

1) “Fear of the unpleasant consequences or punishment.”(1) This is a common definition of fear. It stems from the anticipation of pain which triggers the flight or fight response. This type of fear can also be associated with a fear of what others might think of you, i.e., fear of man.

2) Concern and/or anxiety over breaking God’s law. This kind of fear motivates people to do good deeds to avoid punishment.

3) “Profound reverence for life that comes from rightly seeing.”(2) When we operate in this level of fear, we discern the Presence of God in all things. This is the fear of the Lord.

We have numerous examples in scripture of those who chose foolishly and those who chose wisely. The best example is the stark contrast between the two kings – Saul and David. 

King Saul

Saul was Israel’s first king. Before being ruled by a monarchy, Israel was a theocracy governed by judges. In I Samuel 8, we see that Israel was no longer satisfied with a theocracy and wanted a monarchy.

I Samuel 8:5, 20 “They said to him [Samuel], ‘you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have. Then we will be like the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” 

The elders of Israel tried to justify their request for a king by blaming it on the wickedness of Samuel’s sons, but verse 20 reveals their heart motive. They no longer trusted the Lord to protect them and give them victory over their enemies. They exhibited the fear of man; they wanted to be like all the other nations. If they stood out as being different from the other nations, they might be attacked. A hallmark characteristic of the fear of man is to go with the flow and be part of the “in” crowd. This was the spiritual climate of Israel and Saul didn’t skip a beat.

Saul fought many battles while he was king. Yahweh instructed Saul to utterly destroy the Amalekites.

I Samuel 15:3 (NKJV) “Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” 

The phrase “utterly destroy” is the Hebrew word ‘charam,’ which means “to completely destroy, exterminate, to devote for destruction.”(3) It is a term that denotes Yahweh’s absolute disdain for particular acts of sin or the defilement of the hybrid race of giants. When God commanded ‘charam,’ He was calling for punishment by total annihilation and in most cases, it was because of the mixing of species.

The Amalekites were vicious plunderers. They were the first to attack Israel as they left Egypt. The Egyptians handed over their wealth to the Israelites which caught the attention of the Amalekites. They wanted the plunder for themselves, so they attacked Israel. Their strategy of attack was to cut off the stragglers in the back of the caravan. When the frail, sick, children and nursing mothers were cut off from the rest of the Israelites, they were easier prey for the Amalekites.

If we dig a little deeper to figure out the history of the Amalekites, it helps us understand why God commanded ‘charam’.  This wasn’t just a battle to gain territory, this was a battle in the Seed War (Genesis 3). It was a battle that would determine whom Saul would align with, the seed of Eve (humanity) or the seed of Satan (Nephilim or ‘gibbowr’). 

Amalek was the grandson of Esau. Esau’s son, Eliphaz, had a Horite concubine named Timna, who bore Eliphaz a son named Amalek. The Horites are mentioned in Genesis 14 in a list of giant tribes. While it’s not thought that the Horites were a tribe of giants, it is commonly thought that they were a tribe of people that intermingled with giants, spreading the hybrid race. Given that the Horites intermingled with giants, it is reasonable to conclude that Amalek was corrupted with Nephilim genes because his mother was a Horite. Amalek also inherited the extreme hatred of Esau toward Jacob. This strife between Esau’s descendants and Jacob’s descendants intensified through the generations making the Amalekites, Israel’s worst enemy.

It is reasonable to conclude that the Amalekites were detestable to the Lord for two reasons: the Amalekites were merciless in their attack on the burgeoning nation of Israel as they exited Egypt, and the Amalekites practiced interbreeding promulgating the seed of the ‘gibbowr.’ This is why Saul was commanded to ‘charam’ the Amalekites, which he failed to do. During Saul’s reign, Agag was king of the Amalekites. Saul did not walk in the fear of the Lord, but instead, gave in to the whims of his fancy by preserving King Agag’s life.  Josephus records. 

“He also took Agag, the enemies’ king, captive;—the beauty and tallness of whose body he admired so much, that he thought him worthy of preservation…giving way to human passions, he preferred the fine appearance of the enemy to the memory of what God had sent him about.”(4) 

Agag was most likely a giant, so Saul preserved someone with a defiled genome, which meant in this particular battle within the Seed war, Saul handed the enemy a victory when he aligned with the Seed of Satan. Saul lost his kingship and any hopes of a dynasty because of the fear of man. When we fear man, we can lose our inheritance. 

King David

David was filled with strength, courage, and boldness even at a young age. He shifted the atmosphere when he arrived on the battlefield. Goliath, the Philistine giant warrior, hurled insults and utilized every form of intimidation he could. The Israelite soldiers were paralyzed in fear because they had not developed the fear of the Lord, instead, they were bound by the fear of man. Onto the scene walks a shepherd boy. David was sent on an errand by his father to provide food to sustain his brothers for the battle. This shepherd boy had been tried and tested on the fields while protecting his sheep. He had spent his days watching over the sheep developing intimacy with the Lord. This intimacy gave David the courage to fight the lion and the bear that came to attack the sheep. When David heard the insults Goliath spewed, he was indignant and perplexed by the lack of courage found among Saul’s fighting men. David had not given himself over to fear of man because he knew the Almighty God, the all-powerful Elohim. David had confidence because he was in relationship with the God of Israel:

I Samuel 17:45-47 (NIV) “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

What a declaration of confidence! Goliath had been hurling insults at the Israelites for 40 days; the soldiers were stymied by these curses and could not imagine their deliverance. But the fear of the Lord enabled David to see a different reality—this pathetic, arrogant giant was no match for the Ancient of Days! David stepped into his destiny by rising up to slay the giant and would later be known as the one who slays 10,000.

Time to Choose

The giants of our day may not have the exceedingly great height that characterized the giants of old; but the power, control, intimidation, and domination wielded by Nephilim Hosts, reach great heights in the global governmental structures.  It’s time to choose whom you will serve. What is the object of your fear? Will you be a giant slayer? 

Use this list of characteristics to assess where you stand.

Remember, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It’s the key to a life of abundance. The fear of the Lord starts by cultivating an intimate relationship with Him, just like David did out on the fields watching his flock. Slow down enough to consider the beauty all around us.

“When we really see life as it truly is, we will be filled with wonder and awe over the glory of it all. Every bush will be aflame with the Presence of God and the ground we walk upon shall suddenly be perceived as holy. Nothing will seem small, trivial, or insignificant. In this sense, ‘fear and trembling’ before the Lord is a description of the inner awareness of the sanctity of life itself.”(5)

Written by Laura Sanger, Ph.D.


1. Parson, J. (2014). Awe of the Lord. Retrieved from

2. Ibid.

3. Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for charam (#H2763).” (1996-2020).

4. Josephus, Flavius (1773-1775). The Works of Josephus. Complete and Unabridged. New Updated Edition. Translated into English by William Whiston. I. The Life of Josephus. Written by himself. II. The antiquities of the Jews. In twenty books. III. The wars of the Jews or the history of the destruction of Jerusalem. IV. Flavius Josephus against Apion or antiquity of the Jews.

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