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Bible Reading: Proverbs 1.7

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Proverbs 1.7

Fear is a powerful emotion.  The English definition of fear is “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.”   There are two meanings for the phrase “fear of the Lord” in the bible.  One is the idea of dread or fear of God’s judgment or punishment.  But here in Prov. 1:7 the idea is a reverence or awe of God that is expressed by turning from evil with a desire to please God.   We see Job as a good example of a man who God described as “a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil” (Job 1:8).  His belief in God was not mere head knowledge, but a faith that demonstrated “the fear of God” by obedience to the truth that God revealed to Him.  God tells Job that “the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28).   

There are countless practical benefits for the person who fears the Lord.  God promises they will not be in want of any good thing (Ps. 34:9-10).   His soul will abide in prosperity, he will know God’s covenant (or promises) and understand the deeper things of God (Ps. 25:12-14).  There are promises of goodness, shelter, protection, long life, and hope for the man who fears Him.   But as Job knew only too well, the one who fears the Lord is not exempt from trials, persecution, or suffering.   Paul writes that “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12).  The Lord promises to walk with us and provide the grace we need to endure trials with His joy and peace as we abide in Christ.   But most important of all, the one who fears the Lord will not be ashamed when he stands before Him one day.

In contrast, the foolish man says in his heart “there is no God” (Ps. 14:1) and rejects all sound wisdom and instruction.  The fool despises the word of God and even mocks those who seek to please God.  Even a believer in Christ can be foolish.  Paul exhorts us to “Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time for the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:15-16).    God wants us to know and obey His “good and acceptable and perfect” will for our lives (Rom 12:2).    

My prayer is that each one who reads this would abide in Christ today and practice His presence.   As we walk in obedience, His love is perfected in us and we will not be ashamed when we stand before Him one day.    

Memory Verse: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.  Proverbs 1.7