The fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul. (KJV)
A king’s wrath strikes terror like the roar of a lion; those who anger him forfeit their lives. (NIV)
Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart
What happens if you break the rules?
That seems like such a simple question, but for some reason we, humanity as a whole, seems to disregard the answer to this question on a fairly regular basis.
We prove this by keeping the wrong change when given too much by the cashier, posting a stupid and mean comment online, or speeding while driving down the road.
Yet think about this: what tends to happen when we see a police car on the side of the road? We have a minor panic attack thinking about the trouble we may be in!
It is evidenced by our children disobeying established rules, like throwing a ball in the house, playing with toys instead of doing homework, or doing something wrong and blaming a sibling or a friend.
How do the children feel? Afraid of the coming punishment, because they know they did something wrong. They hear their parents coming a mile away!
How do parents feel? Heartbroken that their child cannot follow simple rules.
God Hates Sin
Every time we sin, it is like telling our Heavenly Father His rules are stupid. We invite His punishment, and often with reckless abandon.
Sadly, it is our reckless abandon that invites His wrath, as well.
The good news is that God loves us so much and hates our sin so much that He stepped down into humanity to save us from His wrath by dying on the cross and rising from the grave.
Those who continue to disobey His laws and refuse to acknowledge His sacrifice remain under His wrath.
In effect, they choose to “sinneth against [their] own soul” and “forfeit their lives” to the wrath of the King.
Just King, thank You for saving us by taking the wrath due us on Your own shoulders. Help us by Your Holy Spirit to obey Your commands to love each other. Help us to love those who are still under Your wrath and lead them to Your grace and forgiveness.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Fear of the Lord, Sin, The King, Warnings, Wrath | posted in Fear of the Lord, sin, Warnings
“The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.” (KJV).
What is the Fear of the Lord?
The fear of the Lord is spoken of 13 times in the Book of Proverbs (in the KJV). Here are some of the things Solomon tells us about the fear of the Lord:
- 1:7: It is the beginning of knowledge.
- 8:13: It is to hate evil; pride and arrogance.
- 10:27: It prolongs days.
- 14:26: In it there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge.
- 14:27: It is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.
One of the best descriptions is in Proverbs 16:6: “By the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.” How can we break free from a life of sin? With a healthy fear of the Lord. But what does it mean to fear the Lord?
God the Great and Powerful:
In an effort to overemphasize the love and grace of God (to a fault), people have watered down what it means to fear the Lord. But if you study the original Hebrew word yirah, you will see that it means: fear, terror; awesome or terrifying thing (object causing fear); fear (of God), respect, reverence, piety; revered. Although it is true that God is love, He is also awesome, powerful and great, and we need to rediscover a healthy fear of the Lord in the church today.
God is the Creator of the Universe, and as such, He is the one who has made the rules that govern life. And we as His creation have broken His rules, and therefore, we are guilty. Apart from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, there is no hope. But if we recognize that we are sinners, and turn from our sins and receive God’s free gift of salvation, then and only then we no longer need to fear the wrath of God. The Bible says, “So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family — calling him “Father, dear Father.” (Romans 8:15, NLT).
The Blessing to Those Who Fear God:
The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord leads to life, and when we have a fear of the Lord, we will be satisfied, and the Lord will protect us from evil. That’s a great promise! It’s time for those of us who call ourselves the children of God to begin to show respect for God and His Holy Word, and begin to live lives worthy of our calling. Away with apathy and compromise with sin!
“And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world.” (1 John 4:17, NLT).
Leave a comment | tags: Bible, blessing, Book of Proverbs, faith, Fear of the Lord, God, proverbs, Religion and Spirituality, Wisdom | posted in Fear of the Lord
A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
Time after time the book of Proverbs has given us characteristics of a fool:
- Fools despise wisdom & instruction (Proverbs 1:7)
- Fools hate knowledge (Proverbs 1:22)
- Fools slander (Proverbs 10:18)
- Fools cause mischief (Proverbs 10:23)
- Fools are deceitful (Proverbs 14:8)
Our verse today adds one more characteristics – a fool is someone who does not want to understand.
I knew a guy in college that was never wrong, even when he was wrong. He did not want to even consider the possibility of being wrong. He knew everything and had the answer to ever question that has ever been asked.
You know the type of person that I am talking about! They have no interest in hearing the truth but are speaking to hear themselves talk and to show others just how much they know.
The New Living says, “Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.” Fools want to talk all of the time and tell other people their opinions and how things should be done but don’t want to hear any instructions themselves because they know best. Many times, these people talk just to hear themselves, and all that the other people are hearing is “BLA, BLA, BLA”.
There are several verses in Proverbs that do this, but I believe that our verse today comes full circle with the whole theme of Proverbs. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
As Christians, how can we expect to fear the Lord and grow in knowledge when we want to live our lives the way we want to and aren’t willing to submit to HIS will for our lives. We are saying to Him that I just don’t want to understand Your ways and I think that I can do better. If we are living our lives this way, we are nothing but fools, but I do it all the time!
Lord, I pray that you would help me and others to live our lives in such a way that we would not be fools with our lives. I pray that we would be willing to submit ourselves to you and understand Your ways.
1 Comment | tags: Fear of the Lord, fools, Knowledge, New Living, Solomon, Understanding, Wisdom | posted in counsel, Fear of the Lord, Fools, Knowledge, Uncategorized, Wisdom
“The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom,
and humility comes before honor.”
What is Fear?
We see lots of mention of fear in the Old Testament. It’s a word that doesn’t fit well with our modern mindset, and so many people who speak about these verses reduce fear to something else. They tell us it is more like awe or respect. Yet even these words have been diluted by our present culture.
When I was a child and did something wrong, I feared the consequences, I feared my parents and the discipline they would bring, the telling off I would receive. Today children seem to fear very few things, and the ideas of respect and awe are replaced by individualism.
But what if fear means fear? What if there is reason to fear God, and this reason makes the grace He shows us all the more amazing?
In the Old Testament the Israelites were afraid to approach the mountain that God met Moses on, Jacob comments on how he came face to face with God and lived. Maybe fear is the beginning of all wisdom because when we realize that God could do anything He wants at any time, He could make our lives miserable and full of suffering, He could punish us for our sins.
And yet he doesn’t.
Instead He pours grace upon us, and in Jesus shows us how humility comes before honor.
Leave a comment | tags: Fear, Fear of the Lord, Israel, proverbs | posted in Fear of the Lord, Mercy
“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.”
Have you been made aware of the fact that you were born dead?
Allow me to show you some evidence:
1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Ephesians 2:1-3, ESV
You see, our sin drags us down toward death (see James 1). In effect, we live in death. Death ensnares us and tries to keep us there.
And while 1 John tells us there is no fear in love (chapter 4, verse 19), if we are under the wrath of God, we have reason to fear. We are still under judgment.
The plus side to this fear is that it can push us toward God. When we look to God, something truly amazing happens:
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins …
Colossians 2:13, NIV
Following God is the only thing that can free us from death, and only by the blood of Christ shed on the Cross. Only God can give life to our dead souls.
Turn away from your sin. Turn to God. It is all that can save us.
Gracious God, thank You for making a way for us to live. Thank You for rescuing us from death, and especially for giving us You. We believe Jesus died to save us, that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We believe Jesus is the only Way.
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, death, English Standard Version, Fear of the Lord, Life, New International Version, Snares | posted in Fear of the Lord
“A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, To call passengers who go right on their ways:”
A Tale of Two Ladies
Chapter 9 of Proverbs can simply be split into two different sections with two different titles – Lady Wisdom & Lady Folly. The first twelve verses are spent talking about Lady Wisdom, while the remain explain the ways of Lady Folly. Both of these ladies are laying out for us an invitation; either to follow the way of wisdom or to follow the way of folly.
Solomon begins verse thirteen by saying that Lady Folly is “clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.” The ESV says this verse this way – “The woman folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing”. The English word fool or folly come from the Latin word follis, which means to “bellow”. Warren Weirsbe says that the word follis also indicates that a fool is a “windbag, full of air but lacking in substance”.
How many “Lady Follies” do you know? We all know these type of people and for the most part, no one want to be around them. They are loud and obnoxious. They think they know everything and have an opinion about everything, and their way – by far – is the best way and they don’t have a problem letting you know that it is the best way.
Solomon is warning us to be on the lookout for foolish people. Their way of foolishness will lead us to destruction and death.
Compare & Contrast
When we begin to compare and contrast Lady Wisdom to Lady Folly, we begin to see just how opposite they truly are. While we see in Proverbs 9:1 that Lady Wisdom has “built her house & set her table”, we see that in comparison Lady Folly is just sitting at the door of her house. She is lazy and doesn’t seem to care.
Chapter 9 is giving us two completely different pictures and invitations. While both women are calling out to those who are going “straight on their way”, we can clearly see by reading the remain parts of each section (Proverbs 9:1-12 / 13-18) the results that will follow.
Clearly the way of Lady Wisdom is most promising and will lead us to have our days multiplied, and years added to your life (Proverbs 9:11). Or we can follow the invitation set before us by Lady Folly, which will lead us to the “depths of Sheol”. Lady Wisdom has promised so much and she will be able to deliver on her promises, while Lady Folly has promised much but will not be able to deliver.
So the invitation is for you today! Which path are you going to follow? Are you going to follow after wisdom or folly? The choice should be obvious, even to the “simple and those lacking sense”!
The more we fear the Lord, the easier our decision becomes!
Lord, help me to fear you each and every day. The more love and admiration I have for you, the more I will want to follow the invitation of wisdom and not of folly. Lord, help me to live a life intentionally focused on You and You alone!
Leave a comment | tags: death, Fear of the Lord, folly, fools, Invitations, Lady Folly, Lady Wisdom, Solomon, Wisdom, Your choice | posted in Fear of the Lord, Fools, Uncategorized, Warnings, Wisdom
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
This has been said many times over and over on Proverbial Thought, but if we don’t fear the Lord we will never truly understand or gain true wisdom…Period – end of story!
We can search and study all we want but Proverbs 1:7 & 9:10 simply say that the “FEAR OF THE LORD is the beginning of wisdom”. Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 9:10 are the bookends for Proverbs 1-9. They proclaim the theme that Solomon is working so desperately to get across to everyone – obtain wisdom and understanding.
Simply put – to fear the Lord means to respect Him (God) so much that we obey His will and seek to honor His name. The word “fear” in the phrase “fear of the Lord” comes from the Hebrew word YIRAH, and it means “to be in awe of” (1 Kings 3:28), and “to have respect for” (Lev. 19:3).
The Benefits of Fearing the Lord
Not only should we fear the Lord in order to obey Him and honor His name, but when we do fear the Lord, the Bible tells us that there are extra benefits when we do:
- Deuteronomy 6:2 – enjoy long life
- Psalm 25:14 – The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
- Psalm 34:7 – the angel of the LORD encamps around them & delivers them.
- Psalm 103:13 – the LORD has compassion on those who fear him
- Psalm 115:11 – the LORD he is their help and shield
- Psalm 128:1 – Blessed are all who fear the LORD
- Psalm 147:11 – the LORD delights in those who fear him
- Proverbs 10:27 – adds length to life
- Proverbs 14:26 – He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge.
- Proverbs 16:6 – through the fear of the LORD a man avoids evil
- Proverbs 28:14 – Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD
Oswald Chambers once said,
“The remarkable thing about fearing God is that, when you fear God, you fear nothing else; whereas, if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.”
Solomon is again reiterating to us that we must obtain wisdom and knowledge in our lives and the first thing we must do it fear the Lord.
God dwells in light and holiness,
In splendor and in might;
And godly fear of His great power
Can help us do what’s right. —D. De Haan
Fear God, and you’ll have nothing else to fear.
Lord, help us to fear you enough in our lives that we do not want to do anything that displeases you. Help us to live our lives in such a way that we will stand in awe and honor your name each and every day. Lord, may our fear for you drive us to love you more and devote our whole heart and lives to You!
Leave a comment | tags: Book of Proverbs, Fear, Fear of the Lord, Solomon, Understanding, Wisdom | posted in Fear of the Lord, Giving Honor, Knowledge, Wisdom
Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; (25) But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: (26) I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; (27) When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Let’s look at the above passage, starting from the end, then working back to the beginning. Fear, destruction, distress and anguish: all of these are the result of something. They are all consequences of unwise, foolish choices.
I deal with children, young people, and plenty of adults who complain about their circumstances. Many times they come to me weeping and asking, “Why? Why? Why?” With tears flowing, their faces red, they look for answers, but not before blaming every one and every thing besides self.
But let’s work backwards. Why are they in such distress? Why are they afraid of the future? Why has everything fallen apart? Could it be that they refused wise counsel? Could it be that they are suffering the consequences of foolishness? Could it be they would have “none of [His] reproof?”
Wisdom is not silent. Wisdom calls from the mouths of parents, teachers, and ministers; especially the Word of God. Wisdom says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Pro 16:25 NIV). Wisdom says, “Don’t stay out too late…don’t have sex before marriage…work hard and don’t complain…be faithful, even when you’re tempted.”
The one who finds himself in distress and anguish should look back in time. Was there not a hand outstretched? Was there not a voice of warning? Calamity has come, and now Wisdom can’t help but laugh and say, “I told you so!”
It didn’t mean as much until I became a parent. My dad would warn me with words like, “Trust me son, you don’t want to go through what I went through.” Now I say the same thing to my children. “If you’ll listen to me, you won’t have to make the same mistakes I made, nor live with the pain.” Will they do what I say, or set at naught my counsel?
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Pro 3:5-6).
Oh Lord, soften our hearts and help us to yield to your wisdom.
2 Comments | tags: Bible, Book of Proverbs, Christ, devotion, faith, Fear of the Lord, God, Jesus Christ, New International Version, Wisdom | posted in Wisdom
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: -Isaiah 29:13, KJV
We must be careful how we handle the Word of God. I mean both senses of the term:
- How do we handle Scripture? Do we read into it what we think it says? Do we read passages out of context or claim promises never meant for anyone but to whom they were made? Do we use Scripture to condemn everyone who disagrees with us or to keep people “in line”? All the while we say, “God is great. I love God.” But we are keeping God in a nice, tidy box that we can control.
- How do we handle Jesus? Do we treat Him like a monster? Do we treat Him as if He is aloof? Do we treat Him like a genie or vending machine, expecting Him to grant all of our wishes and desires, especially when we ask/demand them? Do we treat Him like a doting grandmother, thankful for the gifts He gives, but ignoring Him most of the time? All the while we say, “Jesus is great. I love Jesus.” But we are using Jesus to control others or only get what we want.
John lived in the wilderness, ate bugs and honey, and only had one outfit. He did not tolerate using God and His Word incorrectly, but he did point us back to the wonder of God’s works, as Isaiah did:
Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. -Isaiah 29:14
We cannot forget that though we rebel against God in many ways, even as we call on His name, He does marvelous things: Most importantly, He came to save us from our rebellion and make us more like Himself. We can try and reason Him away, twist His words and actions, but He is come and has made Himself known. And we cannot stand against Him.
And when Jesus returns, we shall be made like Him – holy, blameless, and glorified, able to give Him all glory for eternity.
Lord, help us to come to Your Word humbly and correctly, to align our thoughts and emotions with Yours, to follow Your will and not our own.
1 Comment | tags: Advent, Baptist, Bible, Blameless, Christ, Christmas, Coming, Desire, Fear of the Lord, Fear the Lord, Glorified, Glory, holy, honor, Jesus, John, John the Baptist, Second Coming, Word of the Lord | posted in desire, Fear of the Lord, Giving Honor, Word of the Lord
For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. –Ecclesiastes 9:5, ESV
Today is Reformation Day, the anniversary of Martin Luther igniting the Reformation movement away from the Roman Catholic Church.
This means it is also Halloween.
And you know what? Halloween can be fun.
Yes. There is a lot of paganism in the history of this day.
Yes. This is a high holiday for many Wiccans and other pagans, attempting to connect with spirits and even demons.
Most people today do NOT participate in that.
While over the next few days many cultures either worry about or celebrate deceased loved ones visiting this world, Ecclesiastes 9:5 reminds us that the dead have no real concern for this world.
Either they are headed for destruction and railing at God, or they are with Christ and worshiping Him.
We try to show we are not afraid of death by dressing up as (un)dead things and people, and we sometimes claim we are remembering the dead. At best we are remembering a shadow, only the best or the worst of someone. In truth, the memory is just that: a shadow.
And most people – if they are honest – are afraid of death. Some want to be reunited with lost loved ones, but they rarely know what they are wishing for.
This is starting to get long, so let us remember:
- the fear of death is misplaced,
- the memories of the dead are never perfect,
- and the afterlife will be nothing like any of fully expect (if it all correct).
Instead, it is:
- the fear of the Lord that gives us hope for the afterlife;
- and the dead may not remember much of this life, but the Lord forgets our sins if we are found in Christ and brought into everlasting life.
And instead of getting caught up in the where and why of the history of Halloween, may we focus on sharing the truth of Life with those in this world who are still walking in darkness and death.
Leave a comment | tags: Dead, death, Ecclesiastes, Eternal destruction, Eternal life, Fear, Fear of the Lord, Fear the Lord, Halloween, hope, Life, Memories, memory, Reformation | posted in Fear of the Lord, Knowledge