Wisdom is a good that fills those with joy who possess it but weighs down those who do not. But what does Scripture say? "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Who would not love to reign, and yet in the Psalms the Spirit admonishes, "And now, O kings, understand; be instructed, you who judge the earth; serve the Lord in fear, and exult before him with trembling." This is also why Paul says, "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." And still we read, "If you desire wisdom, observe justice, and the Lord will grant it to you." Since many, as you can readily observe, do not observe justice even though they ardently aspire to wisdom, the Scripture admonishes them that they cannot arrive at what they desire if they do not observe what they are neglecting. Observe justice, it says, and the Lord will grant you the wisdom that you desire. But only one who fears God can observe justice. "The one who is without fear cannot be justified." Therefore, if the Lord grants wisdom to the one who observes justice, the one who is without fear will not be found just. We thus return to the affirmation that I have cited at the beginning: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." - "Sermon 347.1"