WISDOM FOR LIFE: A Topical Study in Proverbs

Wisdom For Life 

Fear of God

Proverbs 1:7:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

The fear of the Lord is a key component of the Proverbs. Do you want to be a wise person? Do you want to have insight into the complexities of life? Do you want to learn prudence and right living in God’s sight?

These can all be enhanced by understanding the Proverbs, but such a study MUST begin with a fear of the Lord.

What is the Fear of the Lord?

Fear of God is reverential awe and respect, but we should not be too quick to dismiss the idea of “terror”, “dread” or being “afraid”.

We must avoid the 2 extremes:
1. Being so afraid of God that He feels distant, we’re walking on eggshells, and we lack intimacy in our relationship with Him
2. Being so comfortable with God that we become comfortable with sin or treat Him far too casually, as merely a friend, a buddy, or a pal.

I think a healthy fear of the Lord lies in the middle of these extremes

A healthy fear of God puts God in His proper perspective:

He exists…He is!
He is all knowing and wise beyond our understanding.
We are not His equal.
He is BIG, powerful, and almighty and we need Him to be!

We don’t need a “puny” God! He is far above us, greater than us.
He is the Creator, we are the created

And therefore, He gets to determine what is right and wrong. He knows better than we do what is best. We simply need to line up with what He has declared to be right and wrong. So many people assume they know better than God-they call the Bible outdated, old fashion, narrow minded. How arrogant for one to think they know better than God! God, the creator, the giver and taker of life, wise beyond comprehension.

The starting point for wisdom must be a right perspective of God: Big, holy, mighty, all-knowing, and all wise. He chooses to reveal His wisdom to us-we just need to follow.

I think there was a time when the church was on the extreme of being afraid of God so much that they missed out on the closeness and intimacy we can have. I think today, we do a good job of highlighting the love and nearness of God and highlighting the wonderful grace of God. But we don’t really know what it is to truly fear the Lord. We bring God down to our level, so we can feel comfortable. But we lessen who God is and it affects how we live our lives. It affects our faith. And it affects our hatred for sin. We must avoid the extremes. We don’t want to be too casual or irreverent OR too afraid, formal, and distant. The only reason we can be friends with God is because He allows it. Never take it for granted.

Fearing the Lord keeps us from going down sinful paths and keeps us growing in Christ and allows us to grow-because it leads to humility, wisdom, knowledge. These come when we fear the Lord. Foolishness, folly, sinful choices happen when we do not fear the Lord. Fear of God and fear of the consequences of sin is healthy. It is a good motivator for doing what is right, even when it’s hard. Safety, protection, and security are found when we fear the Lord.

Remember the children’s song “Oh be careful little eyes what you see”?
O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

Be careful little ears, hands, feet, mouth

Knowing that God is watching, in love, can keep us from sinful actions, poor choices, foolish decisions. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. It is the foundation for understanding the Proverbs and understanding wisdom