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The Fear of the Lord

In Pursuit of Wisdom

Proverbs Podcasts 2020, #2

Warren E. Berkley

 To Listen, look for play button below.

Welcome to these podcasts I’ll be posting at least once a week, and the subject will be – the Old Testament book of Proverbs. This is #2 – offered on March the 30th.

 

I promised last week, that this time I would call to our attention that key phrase that opens the book, where God tells us where to start.

 

I’m talking about Prov. 1:7 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

 

God is telling us where to start. And it starts with our attitude toward Him, captured by that word “fear.”

 

This is not a frenzied terror that causes you to hide or flee. It is an attitude toward God that knows well who He is, and how displeased He is with sin. But involves a deep respect that compels us to learn more and more about how to serve Him.

 

Hebrews 10:31 says that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God. And in that context, our God is a consuming fire. That is an element of Godly fear. Knowing who God is, we abhor any thought of displeasing Him, knowing of His wrath.

 

There is also a strong sense of awe and respect. He loves us and we so appreciate that, we hold Him in the highest esteem.

 

So think of reverence that prompts us to seek Him and know how to please him, combined with this healthy dread of ever displeasing Him.

 

Now remember, this is the starting place to acquire and use knowledge in life.

 

We have to take this attitude of godly fear and connect it with what we do, how we live. In my sermon yesterday I gave some examples of how the fear of God connects to specific actions.

 

Worship – we come before God through Jesus Christ, to worship Him with reverence befitting deity. Worshipping God in spirit and in truth requires a frame of mind that is disciplined, directed and devoted to God.

 

Evangelism is motivated by our knowledge of who God is, His power, His might, His love and His wrath against sin. 2 Cor. 5:11 says – therefore knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.

 

Temptation. Proverbs has a lot to say about the defenses we need to have in place to resist temptation. Prov. 8:13 – “To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” The fear of the Lord and the resulting knowledge and awareness causes us to be alert and resilient against temptation.

 

Relationships. Eph. 5:21 says, “submitting to one another, out of reverence for Christ,” or in the New King James, “submitting to one another, in the fear of God.” And within that context of Ephesians 5 and into chapter 6, very specific applications are made.

 

Gratitude. It may be, ingratitude is one of the primary downfalls of our time. I know, there is immorality, violence, intoxication, murder and greed. But Paul teaches in Romans one, wrong turns away from God begin by not being thankful. Gratitude to God is a function of reverence.

 

Therefore, Prov. 1:7 teaches – there is a starting place. It is the fear of the Lord. That leads us to good knowledge and valuable living before God. Thank you for listening.

 

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