Fear of the Lord (Sir 32:14-32:17)

“Whoever seeks God

Will accept his discipline.

Whoever rises early

To seek him

Will find his favor.

Whoever seeks the law

Will be filled with it.

But the hypocrite

Will stumble at it.

Whoever fears the Lord

Will form true judgments.

They will kindle righteous deeds

Like a light.

The sinner

Will shun reproof.

He will find a decision

According to his liking.”

Once again, Sirach has linked everything to the fear of God. Anyone who is seeking God must accept God’s discipline. You have to get up early to seek God. You should seek the law and be filled with it. The law, of course, means the commandments of God. You should not be a hypocrite who stumbles around. If you fear the Lord, you will make true judgments that will end up with righteous deeds that kindle a light like a fire. The sinner does not like to be reprimanded. The sinner likes only the decisions that fit his way of thinking.

The fear of the Lord (Sir 1:11-1:13)

“The fear of the Lord is glory.

The fear of the Lord is exultation.

The fear of the Lord is gladness.

The fear of the Lord is a crown of rejoicing.

The fear of the Lord delights the heart.

The fear of the Lord gives gladness.

The fear of the Lord gives joy.

The fear of the Lord gives long life.

Those who fear the Lord will have a happy end.

On the day of their death

They will be blessed.”

The beginning of wisdom is fear of God. Just like in all the other wisdom literature, everything starts with the fear of the Lord. This fear or reverential respect for God brings glory, exultation, and gladness. There will be a crown of rejoicing that delights the heart. They would experience gladness, joy, a long life, and a happy end to life. Those who fear God will be blessed on their death. Clearly there is a hint of an afterlife.