The Psalmist says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). The Greek word ‘phobeó’ (fob-éh-o) can mean “to fear” or “to dread,” but it can also mean “to reverence” or “to hold in awe.” It is this latter sense of reverencing or holding in awe that is the psalmist’s meaning. To “fear God” is to have a profound and humble reverence for God, who is sacred and mysterious, and who is far beyond our human understanding.
-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE