Posts Tagged ‘fear of the lord’

As we studied previously in Proverbs: Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord”

The fear of the Lord means submission to the Lord and His revelation. The fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feeling, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God’s.

When one is afraid of something, he either runs from it or submits to it. The latter idea is in view here. It is a healthy fear, like the fear of electricity or the fear of one’s parents, which causes one to act in an appropriate manner. The beginning does not mean that “the fear of the Lord” is left behind in the course of acquiring wisdom, but that it is the controlling principle of wisdom.

The recurring promise of Proverbs is that generally the wise (the righteous who obey God), live longer (9:11), prosper (2:20-22), experience joy (3:13-18), and the goodness of God temporally (12:21), while fools suffer shame (3:35), and death (10:21).

Ecclesiastes 7:17 “Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool-why die before your time?”

You see, good lives lived for God sometimes bring long life. One of the commandments is to honor father and mother, and that promises long life. It is pretty easy to see how someone who lives the evil life is certainly in danger of early death. They visit places where killing and cheating is going on (such as beer parlors and gambling places). Fear of God keeps us walking a holy path.

Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)
Leviticus 20:1-6
Punishments for Sin

1The LORD said to Moses, 2“Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him. 3I myself will set my face against him and will cut him off from his people; for by sacrificing his children to Molek, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. 4If the members of the community close their eyes when that man sacrifices one of his children to Molek and if they fail to put him to death, 5I myself will set my face against him and his family and will cut them off from their people together with all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molek.

Sacrificing children to the gods was a common practice in ancient religions. The Ammonites, Israel’s neighbors, made child sacrifice to Molek (their national god) a vital part of their religion. They saw this as the greatest gift they could offer to ward off evil or appease angry gods. God made it clear that this practice was detestable and strictly forbidden. In Old Testament times as well as New, his character made human sacrifice unthinkable. (1) Unlike the pagan gods, he is the God of love, who does not need to be appeased (Exodus 34:6). (2) He is the God of life, who prohibits murder and encourages practices that lead to health and happiness (Deuteronomy 30:15-16). (3) He is the God of the helpless, who shows special concern for children (Psalm 72:4). (4) He is the God of unselfishness who, instead of demanding human sacrifices, sacrificed himself for us (Isaiah 53:4-5).

6“ ‘I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people.

Everyone is interested in what the future holds, and we often look to others for guidance. But God warned about looking to the occult for advice. Mediums and spiritists were outlawed because God was not the source of their information. At best, occult practitioners are fakes whose predictions cannot be trusted. At worst, they are in contact with evil spirits and are thus extremely dangerous.

Lets Bring it Home: We don’t need to look to the occult for information about the future. God has given us the Bible so that we may obtain all the information we need—and the Bible’s teaching is trustworthy.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 17:11 An evil man is bent only on rebellion; a merciless official will be sent against him.

Rebellion is a terrible sin. It shows how arrogant, contrary, malicious, and willful man can be. God compares it to witchcraft (1 Sam 15:53). When you see it, you have found an evil man. These fools cannot submit to correction or government, so they must rebel. But the great God, the originator of all authority and rule, will have the last laugh. He will send just retribution against such rebels of present punishment and then eternal misery.

Reader, have you felt your soul bristle when others correct you? Do you find it necessary to question most things you are told to do? Which is more important to you – your rights or your duties? It is part of your foolish nature that does not want to be governed. Though you arrived utterly helpless and ignorant in this world, in just a few months you expect to be able to do as you wish without regard for the authority or wisdom of others.

Rebellion brought sin into the universe. The devil rebelled against his role in heaven – he wanted more (Jude 1:6). Adam condemned humanity to death – physical and eternal – by rebelling against God’s word in Eden. God burned up Sodom for rebelling against God and nature’s laws for man-woman sex. And he opened up the earth to swallow Korah for complaining against Moses (Num 16:1-34).

Rebellion is promoted from the top and bottom. At the top – a false concept of God as a begging weakling allows men to think they can reject Him and the Bible. At the bottom – permissive parents and flattering schools program children to rebel against any threat to their freedom. And in between, rulers legislate privilege and protection for rebellion and sedition – like labor unions and free speech – that keep the evil in motion.

This evil conspiracy creates widespread dysfunction. Women revolt against submission to husbands, wrecking marriages. Students defy teachers, causing classroom disorder. So-called patriots despise civil laws, promoting anarchy. Deacons overrule pastors, neutering their leadership. Women have short hair, men have long hair, rap is called music, Picasso is called an artist, piercing tongues is accepted, and adultery is called having an affair.

The Lord, the great God, will punish rebellion against His word or His authorities. He kept Moses from Canaan for rebelling against His command (Num 20:24) He describes civil rebels as comparable to diseased dogs needing to be put down (II Peter 2:10-12). Beware!

Reader, it is wisdom to learn obedience and submission today! The Bible clearly states your duties to God and men. Learn them, do them, and teach them to your children.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.

The fountain of life has been found! Drink from it now, dear reader! The man who fears the LORD will be greatly blessed (Ps 128:1-6). The man who does not fear the LORD will be destroyed by the deadly snares of this ungodly world (Pr 10:27; 22:5; Eccl 7:17).

This is one of the best proverbs of Solomon. Here is a superb promise, a sober warning, and spectacular instruction. The wisdom of this short sentence is wonderful. You have learned many things in life to get where you are today, but this is better than all of them. There are many traps to destroy or kill you in a sinful world, but the lesson will save you.

The fear of the LORD is sober reverence and holy desire to please God that rejects sin and confidence in one’s self (Pr 3:7; 8:13; 16:6). It is the beginning of wisdom (Pr 1:7; 9:10), as those without it are hopelessly lost in self-love and human opinion. It is closely connected to the law of the wise (Pr 2:1-22), which also is a fountain of life (Pr 13:14).

The man or woman who fears the LORD has the wisest impulses and strongest motivation of any living in the world. He or she will be successful in the sight of God and good men, as measured by divine standards. This person will have a glorious life and be saved from the snares that trap others in dysfunctional and painful lives of death and hell.

What can save a man from great attraction to a strange woman? His wife? His mother? His pastor? His children? Not really. The fear of the Lord is the strongest antidote to her beauty and seduction (Eccl 7:26). Nothing else comes close, for only reverent fear of God’s judgment and a great desire to please Him can cause a man to reject her advances, like Joseph did (Gen 39:7-9). Salvation from her wiles delivers a man from the hell and death to which fornication and adultery certainly lead (Pr 2:18; 5:4-5; 7:27; 9:18).

What will keep a marriage happy and prosperous? Both parties fearing the LORD! A husband who fears the LORD will love his wife with the tender affection her Creator intended. A wife who fears the LORD will love her husband with the reverent service that makes for peaceful homes. Two that fear the LORD will make love according to the Inventor’s instructions and solve problems by the Counselor’s wisdom! Therefore, it becomes of greatest importance that spousal selection fix on the fear of the Lord above all else (Pr 31:30). Disregard for this point will cost you fifty years of death. Mark it.

The fountain of life, which is a perpetual supply of good things that make for abundant living, is not dependent on circumstances, for a little with the fear of the Lord is superior to treasure with trouble (Pr 15:16). Ah, dear reader, is it not a treasure here (Is 33:6)? Men search diligently for a fountain of life for physical longevity, but a successful life that pleases God and men is a much greater goal, and the means to it is in this proverb!

Christian parent, this is the most important thing to teach your children. Forget even reading, if it competes with this gift. The fear of the Lord will serve them far better than any academic pursuit, physical exercise, or entertainment. It should be taught as the whole duty of man and the conclusive purpose of life (Ps 34:11; Eccl 12:13-14; Eph 6:4).

It can be established by a godly father living its example and enforcing its claims toward each child. If you love your children, then take time this very day to warn them of His judgments, show them His statutes, and offer them His promises. Point out to them the vanity and vexation of life without the fear of the Lord and the prosperous peace with it.

The fundamental cause of folly, frustration, and pain in life is the lack of the fear of the LORD, which the wicked know not at all (Ps 10:4; 36:1; Rom 3:18). It is only by grace of salvation that men are given this fountain for their parched souls (Jer 32:40), and then they must be taught it, as David and Solomon taught their children (Ps 34:11; Pr 2:1-5).

Jesus Christ feared God like no other, even when facing the torture and death of the cross, and His fear provided a fountain of eternal life to save God’s elect from the death wages of their sins (Heb 5:7-9; John 4:14; Rom 6:23; II Tim 1:9-10). Those who love Him will find a church where God is worshipped with reverence and godly fear (Heb 12:28-29).

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 3:25 Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked

Fear is one of life’s worst experiences. A dreaded event may be imagined, or it may be real, but both are very painful. Terrifying news or reports of danger can suddenly cause great alarm and fear. Or you may know God is going to severely judge the wicked around you. But in both cases, wise men will be happy and peaceful, because God will be their confidence in danger, and He will deliver them from judgment of the wicked (Pr 3:26).

The larger context describes the many benefits of wisdom (Pr 3:1-22). The smaller context teaches that peace from fear and safety from danger are some of these benefits (Pr 3:23-24). The proverb above declares wisdom’s value to deliver men from surprise events and trouble and from God’s judgment of sinners. Because wisdom includes the fear of God and obedience to Him, He will save such men and women from both dangers.

Praise the true and living God! A Christian should not fear anything, for his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord (Ps 112:7-8). Even if an army were to come against him, he can be confident, because the high King of Heaven is on his side (Ps 27:1-6). Even if the surface of the earth were violently overthrown, there is no cause for fear at all (Ps 46:1-7). Here is a glorious benefit of wisdom – faith in God will save you from all fears (Ps 34:1-7).

Consider sudden fear. A doctor says you have cancer! Your spouse of many years leaves you! You are fired unexpectedly! You are in the middle of a bank during a robbery! Your son is killed in an accident! Your auto quits, and you have no money for repairs! A powerful nation declares war against yours! Your retirement plan is cancelled entirely!

Those who fear God and love wisdom have complete confidence in the face of fear. Naaman contracted incurable leprosy, but he boldly sought Elisha for its full cure. Hezekiah had a fatal disease, but he prayed for a couple minutes and was given 15 more years. Jesus Christ went to the cruel death of the cross with total confidence in His Father. Paul and Silas could sing praises in a Roman dungeon in Philippi, Macedonia.

Consider the desolation of the wicked. The influenza epidemic of 1918 killed 40 million! World War II took 72 million more! Deranged moon worshippers destroyed the World Trade Center! A 2004 tsunami wiped out the lives and homes of many from ten nations!

Those who fear God and love wisdom are kept from God’s judgment of the wicked. God drowned all men by a worldwide flood 4500 years ago, but Noah and his family were dry in the Ark. He took Lot out of Sodom before burning it up. Jacob and his family were fed in the best part of Egypt during a terrible famine. Many saints were saved out of Jerusalem, when God sent the Roman armies to destroy the murderers of His Son.

What is wisdom? It is reverently fearing the LORD Jehovah of the Bible and keeping His commandments. God befriends, blesses, delivers, and helps such men, so they need not fear in this world or the next. They can respond confidently to any news of trouble, for they will be protected. If the God of heaven is on your side, then there is nothing man or natural disasters can do to you (Pr 3:26; Ps 118:6; Matt 10:28-31; Heb 13:5-6).

The worst fear the world has ever seen and the worst desolation of the wicked are yet to come, and they are not far off (II Thes 1:7-9). Jesus Christ will come from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire to take vengeance on them that do not know God and do not obey the gospel. But those who believe in Him will be glorified and will admire Him at the very same event (II Thes 1:10). Believe and obey the Lord Jesus Christ today.

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 24:05 – A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength;

Strength here is the ability to know and do good and the ability to detect and oppose wrong, in all areas of life. Wisdom gives a man this strength. A wise man is strong. A man of knowledge gains in strength. Fools are weak. They do not know what they should do, so they do not do it, nor can they understand or resist what they should not do.

Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) said, “Knowledge is power.” But he was only plagiarizing Solomon, who wrote these words 2500 years earlier. Give God the glory! The power and strength of wisdom and knowledge is before you, reader. Embrace the book of Proverbs!

Wisdom is the power to judge rightly in any situation. It is the ability to see trouble and danger, avoid their temptations and snares, and choose a superior course of action. Wisdom is founded on the fear of the Lord (Pr 1:7; 9:10), but it also includes the prudent management of matters in the natural realm. Wisdom is indeed strength (Pr 8:14; 10:29).

Folly is the confusion of not knowing right or wrong and defaulting to the lusts and instincts of the human heart. It cannot see trouble and danger, resist the snares and temptations of life, and choose the right thing to do. Folly rejects the fear of the Lord and trusts its own heart (Ps 14:1; 53:1). It shows itself by making numerous mistakes in simple matters of life (Pr 13:16; 14:8,18; 15:21; 16:22; 26:11). Folly is indeed weakness.

How much difference is there between wisdom and folly? King Solomon, after observing and analyzing all that is done in this world, concluded that wisdom is better than folly as much as light is better than darkness (Eccl 2:12-14). A poor, wise child is better than an old, foolish king, who will not accept correction (Eccl 4:13). Every young reader ought to rejoice at this wonderful opportunity to gain in strength by wisdom even over kings.

Consider a wise man and a fool each trying to cut down a tree with a dull axe. The fool swings and swings the heavy axe until he is exhausted and barely chips the meat of the trunk. The wise man sits down in the shade, sharpens the blade with a pocket file, and cuts the tree down with just a few well placed blows. This is Solomon’s illustration of the strength of wisdom (Eccl 10:10)! Give God the glory!

Of course, the fool shows everyone at the supper table his impressive forearms and biceps from swinging his dull club against one tree all day. The wise man quietly listens and eats, with twenty trees down, stripped, sized, split, and stacked! Ah, wisdom! Real strength is not the size of your arms but the amount of your wisdom! Without wisdom, no matter what the endeavor might be, you must put forth much more effort (Eccl 10:10).

Solomon valued wisdom much higher than physical strength (Pr 21:19; Eccl 7:19). He described how a poor wise man in a small city was able to defeat a great king besieging the city with great bulwarks (Eccl 9:13-18). Solomon wrote, “Wisdom is better than strength – wisdom is better than weapons of war.” Powerful! A wise king will always be able to defeat a foolish king, even with a smaller army and fewer weapons.

Such wisdom is displayed in the witty inventions of the world (Pr 8:12). It has been said, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” But only a wise man will consider an invention to save labor and difficulty. The fool continues on with excessive effort, blinded by habit, tradition, and his little mind. Continents and nations still display this stubborn ignorance.

Many enjoy a proliferation of machines and devices in your generation that multiply physical force and strength by factors of thousands. The great bulk of these inventions are the direct result of wisdom through the knowledge of God in the English-speaking countries of the last two centuries. The fear of the Lord is wisdom! Wisdom is strength!

But more importantly, wisdom is also strength of character. The man who fears the Lord and knows his God is able to withstand the temptations of sin and choose righteousness instead. Such a man has the directive power of God’s word to keep him strong in the very face of Satan’s and the world’s three attractions to sin against God (Ps 119:9; I Jn 2:16).

Joseph was a wise man. This handsome young man was in a foreign city on an extended business trip. He was both successful and anonymous in this distant city. A beautiful woman desired to make love with him. He strictly turned her down, calling such an adulterous affair “great wickedness, and sin against God.” The woman daily tried to seduce him. He ignored her. One day during business, when they were alone together, she grabbed him and begged for him to make love to her. He ran away without the delay of a single word or second (Gen 39:7-20). He was strong! He ended up on Egypt’s throne.

Samson was a foolish man. This physically strong young man traveled to foreign cities to admire their beautiful women. He was frequently in trouble with whores there. Finally, one seduced him, who had told him three times she would destroy him, but he told her all his heart anyway. She sold him to his enemies. They put out his eyes, bound him with fetters, and made him grind in prison. His life was over. Samson was weak, weak, weak!

Which man was stronger? Mighty Samson or slave Joseph? Solomon told of many strong men destroyed by strange women (Pr 7:26), and Samson was one of their victims. But Joseph was wise by knowing God, which gave him strength. It is a foolish simpleton who even goes near loose or wild women (Pr 7:7). Strength of character, a result of God’s wisdom, is an exceeding precious thing. Those who do know their God will do exploits (Dan 11:32), while the foolish rejecter of holy religion is destroyed by a mere woman!

A wise man knows to carefully consider matters before making decisions. He knows that wise counsel from others, and a multitude of them, can save him from serious trouble (Pr 24:6). Such wisdom provides strength. It helps a man do well and avoid trouble. Wisdom is strength, and some of it comes through counselors. Fools cannot see the danger, nor do they ask if others can see it. They rush ahead blindly (Pr 14:15; 22:3; 27:12). The great decisions of life, such as war, should only be made based on much counsel (Pr 24:6).

Strong men retain riches (Pr 11:16). Their estates are great and secure, filled with precious things. Consider the preceding context (Pr 24:3-4). There are many traps and snares in life to take a man’s money, but strong men are not touched. How? They are wise! They have the discernment and prudence to avoid the dangers and errors of money.

They avoid the pits of folly Solomon warns against with his proverbs. They avoid slothfulness, too much sleep, gluttony, drunkenness, excessive pleasure, waste, vain ideas of making money, foolish investments, talk about financial independence, political change, cosigning loans for friends, strange women, disrespect of authority, heavy spending, fraudulent business practices, neglect of business, and all the other lying vanities that take a man’s money from him. They are wise. They are strong.

Wisdom also knows answers to life’s questions, which stagger the fool. These answers are found in the Holy Scriptures (Is 8:20). So wisdom provides strength for any debate or discussion (Pr 15:28; 22:17-21; 24:26; 26:4-5; Ps 119:42). A man with the wisdom of God is not ashamed in any company: he knows the needed truth (Ps 119:46; Dan 3:16).

The strongest men are those who fear the Lord Christ, know the Scriptures well, walk in the Spirit, and pray for wisdom. These are the ultimate sources of wisdom, the basis for great strength (II Tim 3:15-17; Eph 3:16; 6:10; Jas 1:5). It is the salvation of your soul, your family, and your church to be established with strength in the truth (Heb 13:9), lest you instead be a child tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine (Eph 4:14).

All men want to be strong, but only a very few will seek strength at these sources. What will you choose this day, dear reader? Strength or weakness? Strength with all might is offered (Col 1:9-11). Humble yourself, and choose the fear and wisdom of God today!

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 10:27 The fear of the LORD adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short. 

What can best help you live longer? Nutrition? Health care? Exercise? Genetics? Stress? What would you pay to know the certain answer? Your Creator God had Solomon write the secret formula for long life in this proverb. And it is free for your use! If you scoff at this simple rule, you must love death (Pr 8:36). If you are wise, you will realize it is repeated several times, and you will make it your priority (Pr 3:2,16; 4:10; 9:11; 28:16).

Solomon did not use actuaries – statisticians that compile mortality data for calculating the probabilities of when you will die. He knew by revelation and inspiration from God that your moral lifestyle has more impact than any other factor. He knew it by revelation from the Bible (Ex 20:12; Deut 4:40; 5:16,33; 6:2; 22:7; Ps 55:23; Eph 6:1-3). He knew it by inspiration from heaven (Eccl 12:9-10; Is 8:20; II Tim 3:16-17; II Pet 1:19-21).

Life insurance companies use actuaries to come up with averages. They employ thousands and spend billions of dollars to determine human life spans. After all this work and expense, they estimate the average life expectancy is about 73. But Moses wrote 3500 years ago that 70 was typical for most people and 80 for strong people – an average of about 73! You can read it in Psalm 90:10! How did Moses know? By inspiration!

A life expectancy of 73 is an average. Men die around the average. No one is an average. If a godly man lives to be 90 and a rocker dies of an overdose at 56, it is an average of 73. If two godly grandparents live to be 85 and their sodomite grandson dies of AIDS at 49, the average is 73. If all 50 members of a small church live to be 75, but an excluded drunkard dies in a car accident at 35 with his 11-year-old child, it is an average of 73.

What is the fear of the Lord? It is a reverent love and respect for God that causes a person to read and obey the Bible, God’s word. It is the basis for all wisdom and happiness (Pr 1:7; 9:10; Ps 112:1-3; 128:1-6; Eccl 12:13). What is wickedness? It is living a life by your own lusts according to the world’s ideas. It is your choice how you live. But it is God’s choice when you die, and He makes His choice based on this proverb (Eccl 7:17)!

How is life shortened? Sin accelerates aging: the world calls it “hard living.” Cirrhosis of the liver from drunkenness and STD’s from fornication are examples. Sin brings self-inflicted deaths such as suicide and accidents due to foolishness or rebellion. The sin of adultery can provoke murder by either spouse. Sin can bring capital punishment on murderers or other violent criminals. Sin can also bring about the supernatural judgment of God upon a person by any means at any time. The proverb is true. Believe it!

God killed Er and Onan for different reasons, but they greatly shortened the life expectancy of Judah’s family. Eli outlived his sons by many years, but all three died for sins. Why did Nabal die early and leave his widow to David? Because he was wicked! Absalom was a rebel traitor, so it is no wonder Joab killed him in the prime of life. But before being killed, Absalom killed his brother Amnon for raping his sister. And Solomon killed his brother Adonijah for an attempt on the throne. No wonder God chose Solomon to write these words. He saw life shortened greatly among David’s children!

Do not think such things only occurred in the Old Testament. God never changes, and He has not changed (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8). He is still a fearful God and consuming fire (Heb 10:31; 12:29). Ananias and Sapphira dropped dead in the middle of the church for lying about their giving. The Corinthian church had many members die prematurely for abusing the Lord’s Supper. And Herod Agrippa I died for his arrogance after a speech. “The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.”

Are you surprised the average life span of rappers is about 27? Consider their lifestyle! The average life span for rockers is 42 in America and 35 in Europe. Homosexuals die 20-30 years sooner than otherwise expected. Did the following persons get close to 73? Elvis? Hitler? Diana? Bonnie and Clyde? JFK and Marilyn? Al Capone? Babe Ruth? MLK, Jr., Janis Joplin? Jim Morrison? Jim Hendrix? Jim Dean? Alexander? Errol Flynn? Napoleon? John Lennon? You know the answer, and you know why by this proverb.

Compare the general population life expectancy and statistics of those who go to prison for their wickedness. The United States Sentencing Commission defines a life sentence as 39 years. Coupled with the average age of 25 at sentencing, prison life expectancy is 64 compared to 73 for the general population. For those committing crimes in their youth and being sentenced earlier, the life expectancy falls to around 55. Let God be true!

Do you know of exceptions? Of course you do! So did Solomon (Eccl 7:15)! He knew that the infinite God works many things for many reasons in every life, and he knew these other factors did not nullify this rule at all (Eccl 8:12-13). If you want to worry about the exceptions and try to sort out the other divine factors in a person’s life span, then go ahead. But do not be surprised if God counts your curiosity as scorn. Granting a sinner many years as the prosperity of fools or taking the righteous away early to avoid coming trouble does not alter the certain fact – the fear of the Lord prolongs life.

Reader, what will you do about the cold facts of mortality? Become one more statistic short of 73? The Creator God of heaven knows this proverb, and He has confirmed it in the New Testament. He knows to which commandment He first attached a promise of long life – the honor of parents (Eph 6:1-3). This knowledge should plan one event for your day – a call or letter to your parents or a dinner with them. Or will you defeat death by taking your vitamins, suffering through low-fat meals, and running on a treadmill. Humble yourself! Fear the Lord! Honor your parents! Keep God’s commandments!

But even 73 is a short life! Very short! Too short! The Bible compares it to grass, a vapor, a handbreadth, a tale that is told, a watch in the night, a postal worker, a swift ship, an eagle pursuing prey, a shadow, and a weaver’s shuttle. It disappears before you can get your hands on it. The only true cure for death is the gift of eternal life, and it is only by the grace of a sovereign God through the perfect life, death, and resurrected life of Jesus Christ (Rom 6:23). True believers in Jesus Christ will live forever (John 11:25-27).

Under Gods Command 

Proverbs 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. 

The more a person fears and respects God, the more he or she will hate evil. Love for God and love for sin cannot coexist. Harboring secrets sins means that you are tolerating evil within yourself. Make a clean break with sin and commit yourself completely to God.

Fear and hate are good! They are essential to success with God and men. Fearing God is hating sin. The fear of the LORD, a reverential desire to please Him, is measured by your hatred of the things He hates. Four sins are listed here for you to hate, if you really want to please God and be wise. Lady Wisdom also states her hatred for these four sins.

The fear of the LORD is the greatest duty and goal of life. Solomon made this inspired conclusion after testing every possible reason for living with extensive experiments (Eccl 5:7; 8:12; 12:13). It is the first and greatest pursuit of godly men. You cannot love God rightly until you fear Him, for loving Him is His commandment (Deut 6:1-5; 10:12).

No man fears God by nature (Ps 36:1; Rom 3:18). It is the gift of God in a regenerated heart, but it is your duty to stir it up and put it into practice. It is the great prerequisite for wisdom, understanding, and knowledge (Pr 1:7; 9:10; Ps 111:10), and it brings the great blessings of God (Ps 112:1; 115:13; 128:1; 145:19; 147:11; Luke 1:50).

This effeminate and perverse generation condemns fear and hate. Yet they fear Bible preaching and truth, for it proves their guilt; and they hate those who preach and live it, for they would limit their wicked activities. But their opinions do not matter compared to the wisdom of the Creator God and His inspired Scriptures. Fear and hate are still good.

The fear of the LORD is a reverent desire to please God Jehovah, the Creator God of the Bible, which includes hating the things that He hates. The living and true God of the Bible hates sin (Pr 6:16-19; Jer 44:4; Zech 8:17), and His followers are to hate sin as well. Fear and hate are good. So hate evil with God (Ps 97:10; Amos 5:15; Rom 12:9)!

Lady Wisdom hates pride, which is exalted thinking about yourself, leading to an attitude of superiority and contempt for others. It is the inordinate self-esteem adored by this generation. God cast Satan out of heaven for pride (I Tim 3:6), and He will crush any man with a proud spirit, for you are nothing before Him and without Him (Ps 39:5; 62:9).

Lady Wisdom hates arrogance, which is aggressive pride in dealing with others. Pride is your attitude about yourself and others; arrogance is a haughty, condescending, conceited, and presumptuous treatment of others. It is the difference between being puffed up and vaunting yourself in Paul’s definition of love (I Cor 13:5; Rom 12:16).

Lady Wisdom hates an evil lifestyle, which is sinful living with wicked habits. You are to avoid ungodly men and their deeds (Ps 1:1; 5:4-5; 101:3-8; I John 2:16). You are to love God’s directions for each area of your life and hate every other idea (Ps 119:128; Jer 6:16). The blessed King Jesus was honored greatly for hating evil (Ps 45:7; Heb 1:9).

Lady Wisdom hates a froward mouth, which is perverse, obnoxious, and wicked speech. Your words should feed and help others (Pr 10:21; 15:4; 16:24). God hates a froward and lying tongue (Pr 4:24; 6:12,17; 10:31; 12:19; 21:6). Solomon dedicated many proverbs to sound speech, as it is a common area of sin (Pr 10:19; 12:18; 15:1-2,28; 17:27-28).

Reader, do you hate these four things? Are all four of them out of your life? You cannot and will not be wise, as long as you hold on to any of these specified sins. The true fear of the LORD will cause you to hate these things and tear every aspect of them out of your life (Ps 101:2-3). Do not claim to fear the LORD, if you hold on to even a single sin. To continue in your sins is to despise the LORD (Pr 14:2), and the holy God will punish you.

The great men and women in the earth are those who fear the LORD. They are His favorites, and they live happy and successful lives. He is their God, and He blesses them abundantly (Ps 25:12-15; 128:1-6). Jesus Christ feared God, and His prayers were heard, and He rules over the universe (Heb 5:7-9; 1:3,13). Follow His holy and perfect example.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.  

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor

How important is the fear of the LORD for getting wisdom? Absolutely crucial! You will not get close to wisdom without fearing God (Job 28:28). How important is humility to getting honor? Absolutely crucial! You will not get close to true honor without it (Pr 11:2; 16:18; 18:12; 29:23). If you love wisdom and seek the favor of God and men, then here are the rules for your life: humble yourself before God and men in the fear of God.

What is the fear of the Lord? It is a reverent awe for Him and His power, a deep respect for His commandments and laws, and a fearful regard for the punishment He can bring on the foolish. It is not a slavish, demoralizing fear that causes terror or distress. It is a fervent and holy desire to please Him in all things and fulfill His desire for your life as close as possible. It is the sober realization that He is God and you are His mere creature.

 What is humility? It is the knowledge that you are very fallible, very foolish, and very weak. It is the willingness to reject your own thoughts and opinions in order to be taught by God or men wiser than yourself. It is the ability to take correction, confess your faults, and change your methods based on the instruction of others. It is the discipline to keep your mouth shut, avoid the conflicts of others, and forgive their offences against you.

 The importance of these two prerequisites cannot be overstated. Moses taught the fear of the Lord (Deut 10:12), and so did Joshua (Josh 24:14), Samuel (I Sam 12:14,20,24), David (Ps 34:9-11), and Solomon (Eccl 12:13-14). It was the conclusion of Solomon’s conclusive experimentation! It is the whole duty of man! The very foundation of wisdom requires the fear of God: without it you cannot even get started (Pr 1:7; 9:10; Ps 111:10).

The surest and shortest way to honor is the hovel of humility! Get down, before God and men put you down! If you get down, God and men will put you up! The lesson is certain; the law is infallible. God resists the proud, but He helps the humble. It is the way of Him Who cannot stand the stench of human confidence! Joseph reached the throne through the slave market and prison. Jesus reached the throne of glory through a stable and a cross!

 Moses and David became pastors of a nation after pastoring sheep in great obscurity. Gideon and Jephthah had little pedigree or position, but God promoted them over His people. Rahab and Ruth were despised foreigners, one a prostitute and one a widow, but both are in the lineage of Jesus Christ! Daniel and Esther were orphaned early and captured by pagan kingdoms, but both rose to the right hand of power! Abigail said she was unworthy to wash the feet of David’s servants, but he chose her to be his wife!

 When you fear the Lord, you have no fear of man, which corrupts the hearts of most men (Pr 29:25). If peer pressure does not bother you, and if threats do not intimidate you, then you will be proportionately wiser by not wasting mental effort or making moral compromise based on what others might think or do. Can you grasp this wisdom?

 When you fear the Lord, you have wonderful knowledge, precepts, and principles that others do not have – you have the words of God to guide your thinking and actions. The man who fears the Lord trembles before His word (Is 66:2). Even pagans can recognize the great advantage of the Bible (Deut 4:5-8; Ps 19:7; 111:10; 119:98-100).

 When you fear the Lord, you are accountable to a Judge higher than earthly authority. Men sin easily when the only risk is the displeasure or punishment of other men, but the fear of God brings the greatest motivation for a man to make wise and righteous choices. It was this fact that kept Joseph back from Potiphar’s wife and David from killing Saul.

 When you are humble, you think before you speak, and you speak gently and kindly, because you know the foolishness of your heart and lips. Such caution and reservation brings respect and honor, even from kings (Pr 15:1; 16:13; 17:27-28; 22:11). Grasp it!

 When you are humble, you get down before God and men. In that position, He gives grace and wisdom. In that position, He avenges you from your enemies. In that position, He exalts you above others, for He will crush the proud and promote the humble. In that position, He knows that exalting you will not bring the arrogance of self-confidence.

Reader, you have been shown the way of wisdom and honor. The blessed God of heaven inspired these words through the wisest and most honored king in history. Do you love and fear the God of heaven with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength? If not, get down now and begin! Do you despise your deceitful heart, foolish lips, and weak flesh enough to cry unto God that you are a lost cause? If not, confess your arrogance and begin!

Under Gods Command

Proverbs 14:2 He whose walk is upright fears the LORD, but he whose ways are devious despises him

It is easy to know if you love God or not. A fool says, “You can’t judge me, because you don’t know my heart.” But Solomon says you can know his heart easily. You simply judge him by his actions. Good men show they love God; bad men show they hate Him.

O hypocrite! You have been found out. Your talk is cheap. Your Sunday religion is vain. Your baptism is empty. Your friendship is false. Your words lie. Your actions tell the truth. Your lack of godly living and your wicked choices prove that you truly hate God.

You will soon be exposed before the whole church (Pr 26:26; Ps 144:7-8). You are afraid to say you hate God, but your actions say you despise Him. Your pious words or regular attendance mean nothing, for a man that truly fears God will obey Him in all parts of life.

The man who walks uprightly – does that which is right all the time – fears the Lord. The man perverse in his ways – who regularly disobeys – despises the Lord. This rule is simple; it is accurate; and hypocrites claiming to fear God do not deceive wise men at all.

A common proverb says, “Actions speak louder than words.” Solomon agreed. He said even children are known by their doings, whether they are pure and right (Pr 20:11). Do not believe what you hear, if a person’s actions contradict (Pr 14:15; 26:6-7,24-25).

Good trees bear good fruit; evil trees bear evil fruit. And so it is with man. Unless his heart is good, his actions will be evil. The mouth speaks and the feet walk according to what is in the heart. Evil men cannot bring forth good actions (Matt 12:33-35). No matter how hard a hypocrite tries, wise men see the inconsistent life betraying his words.

Hypocrites do not want to be discovered or judged, for their whole life is a lie. They pretend they fear the Lord in order to get some thing. They defend their inconsistent lives by denying that anyone knows their hearts. But sincere hearts are known by consistent righteousness, and evil hearts are known by sins. The rule is simple to identify character.

Why do men pretend to fear God? Think closely, dear reader. They need something in the church, so they act religious to get it. They need friends, and Christians are friendly. They need a job, and their boss is a Christian. They need a spouse, and the best women are Christians. They want financial help, and Christians are generous. They fear their spouse leaving, so they obligate her as a Christian. They will pretend to keep their family happy.

The fear of the Lord is not a single profession of an emotional event. “Going forward” at a revival is not scriptural or Christian, so it has no meaning at all. “Making a decision” is not walking uprightly; it is just vain thinking. “Getting saved” shows great ignorance about salvation, for there are at least five phases of it. “Being baptized” or “joining the church” are only single, small steps. They alone do not prove the fear of the Lord at all.

The fear of the Lord is a lifestyle of obeying God, keeping His commandments, and hating sin (Eccl 12:13; Pr 8:13; 16:6). The early churches walked in the fear of the Lord, for they gave up their lives to follow Jesus Christ, even at great personal cost (Acts 9:31). Let Solomon’s father David tell you how he walked uprightly in his house (Psalm 101).

Walking is not a step: it is many steps. Jesus said, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31). If you do not continue, you do not fear the Lord. You are to be in the fear of the Lord all the day long (Pr 23:17). Others can judge your heart.

Few say they hate God. How horrible! But a lazy spiritual life with sin says louder than words that you despise Him (Mal 1:6-14). If you are not sold out for Him, He despises you and your life (Rev 3:14-19). Loving Christ means keeping His commandments (John 14:21-24). Knowing God truly is only by keeping His commandments (I John 2:3-5).

Eli despised God by loving his sons too much (I Sam 2:29-30). He was perverse in his ways by not killing them. David despised God by taking Bathsheba (II Sam 12:9-10). He was perverse in his ways by taking another woman. These great men violated the rule.

O hypocrite, consider your ways. You have been found out! And if your evil heart is known by men, how much more does God know your hypocrisy and wicked heart, before whom all things are naked and opened (Heb 4:12-14)? Repent of your hypocrisy quickly.

O beloved saint, keep your heart with all diligence (Pr 4:23). Pray for God to examine it thoroughly (Ps 139:23-24; 26:1-2). Confess every variance from His holy standard in Scripture. Remember that your heart is only as good and pure as your actions.

What of Jesus Christ’s heart? It was full of the fear of the Lord, and God honored His heart by hearing His prayer (Heb 5:7-9). His perfect life proved a perfect heart! Amen.