The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. Proverbs 9:10 ESV
The Bible teaches in multiple places that we are not to fear, yet in Proverbs 9 it teaches us that fear is the beginning of wisdom. The fear as taught in Proverbs 9 is not the type of fear that is crippling, but a fear that is related to reverence or respect. For example, fearing a police officer would be wise if you consider breaking the law. He or she has the authority to give a ticket or arrest you. This is not a fear that makes you afraid of the officer, but a fear out of respect for the authority and the law that the officer represents. Jesus teaches in Luke who we are not to fear and who we should fear. 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 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 12:405 ESV There is only one person who has this authority, and that is God the Father who sits upon the throne of heaven. This authority was taught by Jesus concerning the final judgement. Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Matthew 24:41 (ESV)
FEAR OF THE LORD:
And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered MY SERVANT Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who FEARS GOD AND TURNS AWAY FROM EVIL. Job 1:8 ESV Two important facts to glean from this verse are: Job was a servant, and, in fearing God he turned away from evil. I am concerned that in our culture, few people have ah healthy fear of God. Note, I said “healthy” because a healthy fear is fueled by belief in the truth of what God is – a God of His word. God will NOT reward evil and judgement WILL come because of evil. (Galatians 6:7-8) Grace is a sweet gift of God and covers a multitude of evil. But grace should NEVER be used as a ticket to sin. (Romans 6:1 & 6:15) Biblical fear of the Lord is a healthy fear.
BEGINNING OF WISDOM:
We all need a starting point in everything we do. I dare say most people want to consider themselves to have grown or be growing in wisdom. Recognizing God as the Bible teaches – as HOLY – should remind us that we too are to be holy. It is our calling as Christians… Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:13-14 ESV Wisdom is knowing the authority of God and the authority that He has over your life and then living accordingly. It is “TURNING AWAY FROM EVIL”, not embracing or making excuses for sin. It is, as stated last Sunday, “Living on purpose for God.”
KNOWLEDGE OF THE HOLY ONE IS INSIGHT:
The more you know about God and the righteous requirement of the law, the more you will see your need for Jesus. What we could never do in fulfilling all the requirements of God’s law, Jesus did on the cross. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things the of flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Sprit. Romans 8:3-5 ESV The more you know about God, the more you will realize all that he has done for you, and if you have any wisdom you will love hime more every day. (Luke 7:47)
It is almost a continuing circle…. you fear the Lord….. causing you to gain wisdom…. then you gain knowledge and insight, which causes you…… to fear the Lord……. gaining more wisdom…. …… gaining more knowledge and insight….. on and on this could go. We are not redeemed by works, but our works are the proof of our redemption that happened because of Jesus. So let me encourage you to develop a healthy fear of God, and as a result……. live on purpose the life you have been given by the Holy God we serve.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David