Tag Archives: Fear of the Lord

Trying Not To Be Fools With His Words

Many readers of Proverbial Thought may enjoy the thoughts we share each day.

Maybe you do not understand some our thought process.

I for one do enjoy writing out these devotional thoughts for others to enjoy, but it weighs heavy on my heart.

For starters, read Proverbs 26. It will only take a few minutes. What really strikes me is the number of verses about the wastefulness, follies, and even dangers of fools speaking proverbs.

We are basically putting it put there that we are responsible for affecting the way people think!

In fact, when I was a new believer of Jesus Christ, I knew I should “do my part” and read at least something in the Bible. I chose James, for “not being too long and possibly boring me, nor too short and making me look lazy.”

Ouch. This was the first thing that stood out to me (in my NIV Bible at the time):

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
James 3:1

I understood that to teach others means I would be scrutinized myself, both by other people and by God.

That terrified little 16-year-old me! (Even at six feet tall at that time …)

Honestly, it should be intimidating to all of us.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15

God has an expectation. If you teach others about the Word of God – which all believers should in some way – you are expected to know what it says and how to explain it adequately.

This is the struggle we deal with every day for Proverbial Thought, and for many of us, who are pastors and ministry leaders, as a daily concern.

Therefore, we write to help others (you, dear reader!) to be better equipped to share your faith, even if mostly about the Proverbs.

If you are a follower of the Lord, you should be able to share the reason for your faith. Use any tool available to you to grow, starting with regular Bible study, researching what others have said, and meeting with fellow believers (by going to church, attending Bible studies, meeting together just to talk, and serving togwther).

Hopefully, we have played a role in your growth and not written foolishly.

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No Reason for Envy

Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long. – Proverbs 23:17

Testimonies

I love to hear stories of how God has changed people’s lives. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thrills to hear how the Lord can take a dreadful, hell-bound sinner and turn him into a saint in all respects.

But sometimes testimonies can turn into a glorification of past sin. Sometimes a well-meaning story of God’s grace can make the average person wish they’d taken a chance at being bad.

Like,

“I once was a drug dealer and had everything money could buy. I woke up with champagne and girls, drove fast all day, and then partied all night until I passed out in the arms of another supermodel. Then Jesus saved me.”

Sorta makes becoming a believer a little anti-climactic, doesn’t it?

The Truth

What we need more of is the truth – not just the truth about the consequences of sin, but the literal joys of following Christ and honoring the Father.

So often we are bombarded by images of those who are doing everything the Bible condemns and having fun while they’re doing it. All of us want to have fun and enjoy life, don’t we? Therefore, these images tend to make a lot of us envious.

But if we had more stories of the joy, peace, and awestruck wonder that accompanies the one who walks in the fear of the Lord, the fleeting pleasures of sin wouldn’t even be worth talking about.


Fear That Brings Faith

Hell and destruction are before the Lord : how much more then the hearts of the children of men? -Proverbs 15:11, KJV

Over and over again Solomon reminds us that the fear of the Lord brings wisdom and life.

Our world attempts to create a god that would never punish or discipline people. But what did Jesus say?

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!”
Luke 12:4‭-‬5, ESV

It is not the Devil who controls the realm of fiery torment. It is God. We should begin with a fear of the one who can send us there.

But He loves us enough to save us.

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”
Luke 18:16

Our fear should push us toward faith that He also made a way for us. His Son, Jesus, came and died for our sins and rose to life again to give us hope for the future.

We should have faith like a child who knows his father will not let him go when things get scary.

We can know that, although God created and maintains Hell, He cares more for those sons of Adam who hear His call to become born again sons of God.


Do you really believe He is there?

The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. -Proverbs 15:3 KJV

Do you actually believe that God is omniscient – knows all things – or omnipresent – everywhere?

If you struggle with secret sin, figuring no one really knows about it, then you probably do not really believe God can see everything or knows everything.

Do you really believe God is watching all the time?

If you mistreat others, steal looks at an attractive person, or conveniently overlook a transaction in your favor, then you probably do not really believe God can see everything or knows everything.

If you have constant, nagging fears and doubts, worry about what is going to happen tomorrow, or refuse to trust others because they might wrong you, then you probably do not really believe God can see everything or knows everything.

God is there.

Trust Him. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you daily, continually. Allow Him to change you, to grow you into the image of His Son. Let the Holy Spirit move in your life.


The Fountain of Youth

The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning away from the snares of death. -Proverbs 14:27

Many stories – movies, books, television shows – have focused on the fountain of youth, the mythical spring/pool that endows those who bathe in/drink from it with healing, restored youth, and enduring vitality.

Similarly, the search for the cup of Christ – the cup Jesus drank from at the last supper and then later collected His blood, therefore having the same qualities as the fountain of youth – has been a perennial story, stretching back to Arthurian legend.

Even the so-called Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s stone – again, restoring and prolonging life – has been a goal for many, and popularized most recently in the “Harry Potter” series.

Many people have dreamt of finding any or all of these, and some of those have tried.

However, these should be understood as what they are stories.

Stories that point to the truth:

Everlasting life is found only through the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, we fear the wrath of God, and then we driven to the cross, where Christ’s sacrifice rescued us from that fate.

This is how “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning away from the snares of death.” The only fountain of life is found in Christ through the Holy Spirit.


The Protection of Wisdom

For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.” – Proverbs 2:6-8

God gives wisdom.

The first thing to realize is that He gives wisdom to all, regardless of faith or belief, as evidenced by people of all backgrounds who make wise decisions in this world.

This is why, in verses 7-8, he explains more deeply that He sets aside sound wisdom for the righteous, the saints of God.

To keep it simple, non-believers (those who do not believe in God or believe in a different god than that revealed in the Bible) become futile in their thinking. They believe and teach things that are contrary to God’s truth and even sound reason, and they bring others with them. (See Romans 1-3, 1 Corinthians 1)

For the faithful, God’s wisdom does three things:

  1. Shields (the buckler): We are protected from lies and deceit, because we know the truth and can see deception more clearly. Arguments against us fall flat.
  2. Guards (keeps): Truth is protected, because lies cannot hold up. Whereas a shield deflects, a guard holds back. I am reminded of a contrast of debates I saw in which one man had to keep coming up with answers because he did not rely on the Bible, but another man shot down his opponents initial questions by simply quoting the Bible (with brief, simple explanations as needed). There was no need to continually adapt to new attacks, because his initial, biblical answers ended the questioning.
  3. Supports (Preserves): God’s truth will always sustain us. We do not need to be concerned with future attacks, debates, or seemingly contradictory evidence. Nor do we need to worry about “slipping” in faith, word, or deed. We may stumble, but His truth remains for us to eternally fall on and hold us up. (See Matthew 10:16-20, Mark 13:9-11; Luke 12:8-12; John 14:26)

The ultimate sound wisdom given to the faithful – while helpful in fighting off the “wisdom of the world” – is that we will “understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.”

In other words, we will find the truth of Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins, and everlasting life.


The God-Fearing Woman

Proverbs 31:10,30.

“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies… Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” 

The Charming Woman:

There are three common descriptions given to women in today’s Proverb. The first one is favour. This comes from the Hebrew word chen which means grace, favour or charm. In other words, a graceful or charming woman. Charm, King Lemuel says, is deceitful – a lie, deception, disappointment, and a falsehood. Don’t be deceived by a charming woman!

I’m so glad that I’m done with the dating scene. This coming March, my wife and I will be celebrating our 19th wedding anniversary. I don’t miss the dating days at all! When you meet someone new and you are romantically interested in them, an unfortunate thing often happens – both of you will put your best foot forward, trying to impress the other person, and sadly, you don’t really get to know that person well. They might seem charming, but it could be an act.

This is why I think it’s so important for you to get to know a person on a friendship level for an extended period of time before you even consider dating (or courting, whatever you prefer). My wife Liza and I got to know each other in this way and had become best friends for about a year before we ever started dating. In doing so, we had a chance to observe and evaluate the other person’s character without fear of charming deception. It’s a wise thing to do.

The Beautiful Woman:

The second description that King Lemuel gives to a woman is that of beauty. But beauty, he says, is vain – vanity, a vapor, or a breath. In other words, it’s not going to last! How many men have chosen a woman to marry just because she was beautiful, and yet she lacked any sort of inner beauty or godly character? Now, this is not to say that men looking for a wife need to look for someone who’s as ugly as a dog – no! But what it means is that there is something far more important and valuable than an external beauty that will one day fade away, and that is an inner beauty of the character of a woman who fears the Lord.

A God-Fearing Woman:

At the beginning of his poem, King Lemuel asks the question: “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” As we come to the end of his treatise, he declares: “A woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” In other words, the ultimate character trait of a virtuous woman is someone who fears and respects the Lord. She not only calls Him Lord, but she also submits her life to Him and His Word. She shuns sin, and strives to live a pure and holy life. And this is the sort of woman who will be praised, and shine brightly!

This is my final devotional post on the Proverbial Thought blog. It has been a joy and a blessing to write alongside of such a great team of men (and one young lady) from around the world, and I wish you all the best as you continue to serve the Lord in every area of your lives. And reader – may you be richly blessed as you put God’s Word first in your life, too!