Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Instruction and Encouragement from Proverbs

"For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the
Scriptures we might have hope."  Rom. 15:4


King Solomon, the philosopher, scientist and architect, gathered wise sayings given to man through the centuries by the Holy Spirit and compiled them in an orderly arrangement known as the book of Proverbs.  Dr. Henrietta Mears adds:
                  "In Psalms we find Christians on their knees.
                   In Proverbs we find Christians on their feet.
                  The Psalms are for the Christian's devotions.
                  The Proverbs are for the Christian's walk.
                  The Psalms are for the closet of prayer.
                  The Proverbs are for the business place, home and playground.
                  We find in Proverbs that godliness is practical!"
The beauty and power of Proverbs is God giving His wisdom to man!


“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…The fear of the Lord prolongs life…He who walks in his uprightness fears the Lord…In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge.  The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life…Better is a little with fear of the Lord than great treasure and turmoil with it…The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom…The fear of the Lord leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil."         Proverbs 1:7, 10:27; 14:2,26-27, 15:16,33, 19:23

Three guesses as to the Lord's instruction in these proverbs and the first two guesses don’t count!  You got it…fear the Lord!  A wise believer once said, “One who fears the Lord is bowed down with reverence in obedience and held down by love!”  Dr. Henry Blackaby adds:  “There are things you will see and hear out of fear of the Lord that you will not experience in any other way.” 

Living a life bowed down to God in great love, respect and obedience will impact every relationship and dimension of our lives!  Proverbs 31:10-31 portrays a detailed word-picture of the “fear of the Lord” life.  Solomon wrote, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” (v.30) Within the previous 20 verses in chapter 31, that God-fearing woman is described as being trusted by her husband (v.11), praised by her children (v.28), and mindful of the needy (v.20).  She is industrious (v.16), a servant (v.17-20), prepared (v.21-24); wise, kind (v.25-26), as well as dependable (v.27-29).

In prayer, I once asked the Lord Jesus to please show me a woman in Scripture He considered to exemplify, with excellence, fear of the Lord.  I believe I heard in my heart His gentle, kind voice reply, “My mother, Mary.”  In his book, Why the Nativity?, David Jeremiah wrote, "Mary, a simple peasant girl, was already looking forward to her greatest day- her own wedding ceremony.  Then, without warning, without preparation, she was looking directly into the eyes of an angel…He told her she was in God's favor and that God was with her…then Gabriel shared the most amazing information of all: This presence of God would bring about the birth of a child who would be His own Son.  This would happen even while Mary remained a virgin. Most of us would have responded to such news with pride or perhaps fear.  Mary responded with simple obedience, "I am the Lord's servant.  May everything you have said about me come true (Luke 2:38)."  Bowed down in reverence; held down by love!

What must change in our daily routines to live a life fearing the Lord; bowed down in great respect for Him, obeying Him and staying down out of deep love for Him?  Would there be changes in our attitudes and our words; perhaps changes in our companions or our activities.  What would we allow our eyes to see, our ears to hear, our hands to do or where would we allow our feet to go?  What would be completely eliminated from our lives…or added?

God is worthy to be trusted, honored, loved, obeyed, respected, glorified, worshipped…God is worthy to be feared. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  Today, beginning NOW…let’s wise up!


“My beloved daughters, hear My instructions; for I give you sound teaching.  Listen carefully as I impart wisdom to you that will add  beauty, grace and protection to your lives." (paraphrase Proverbs 4:1-13)

1 Spout:

I truly appreciate your insight about the practicalities of fearing God which changes our daily lives! I want God to penetrate my heart with the desire to fear Him!

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