Friday, December 8, 2017

Proverbs 1:7

 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
   Fools despise wisdom and instruction”

We come to an important concept in the book of Proverbs: the fear of the LORD. The fear of the LORD is an inclusion in the first nine chapters of Proverbs (cf. 9:10 – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”) which form a unit. It is also an inclusion for the entire book (cf. 31:30 – “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised”). So the fear of the LORD begins and ends the first section of Proverbs as well as begins and ends the book. It is also a prominent theme within the book itself.

The fear of the LORD...
  • • is the beginning of knowledge (Prov 1:7, 29; 2:5)
    • is the beginning of wisdom (9:10; 15:33),
    • instills confidence (14:26)
    • makes rich (22:4).
    • prolongs life (10:27),
    • is a fountain of life (14:27),
    • leads to life (19:23),
    • is rewarded with life (22:4).
    • is to hate the evil God hates (8:13; 16:6; 23:17).
No wonder that “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD Than great treasure and turmoil with it” (15:16)! So if we gain anything, let us gain the fear of the LORD.

What does it mean to fear the LORD? There are three basic meanings to the Hebrew word “fear.” It can mean “terror” or something of which one is afraid. Or is can mean to be awed by something. Or it can mean to revere or respect something. There is certainly an element of each. The LORD is fearsome in power and might. He is totally righteous and justly angry with sin. Sinners should certainly fear Him and His judgment. But those who have been saved by His great grace have confidence and will not shrink away from Him (1 John 2:28). We also stand in awe of who He is. We are amazed at His power and might. We wonder at the great love which He has shown us in salvation. It is also true that we revere Him. We respect Him. And we submit unto Him.

When we fear God, we have nothing else to fear! We stand before God in reverence, seeking to honor His name and exalt Him. Acquiring the fear of the LORD is the most important thing we will ever do. It is the first step toward true knowledge, because God is truth. If one does not have God, he has nothing; and if he does have God, he has everything he needs for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). He is led into all knowledge by the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27). Those who do not have God may know some true things (by God’s grace), but their worldview is complete folly, because they have not believed the true God. Their worldview is not built upon the truth of God’s Word. They have traded the truth of God’s Word for foolishness. The fool despises the wisdom and instruction that comes from God.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Psalm 1:6 - God Knows His Children

God knows His children. Isn’t that a wonderful sentence? God knows His children. This is the truth expressed in the final verse of Psalm 1. In direct contrast to the destruction of the wicked on the day of judgment in verse 5, verse 6 says that “the LORD knows the way of the righteous.” 

Image result for Cross

This is the ultimate reason why the righteous person is blessed: because the LORD knows him. He knows His children. This is more than a knowledge of their existence, for God knows all things. This is a statement of intimacy. God knows personally those who are His. In fact, the psalmist uses the personal name of God (LORD in all capital letters stands in place of the divine name Yahweh/Jehovah) demonstrating His intimacy with those whom He knows. To them He extends His grace and lovingkindness that they would not perish on the day of judgment but dwell in the house of the LORD forever and ever.

If we have believed in Jesus Christ, we can know with certainty that we will never face the wrath of God, for this is what is means to know God. Jesus is the way to gain access to the Father (John 14:6). He is the only way to have fellowship with the Father (1 John 2:23). We must believe God’s testimony concerning His Son which was passed down through His apostles to us today in the form of the New Testament and was promised beforehand in the prophets of the Old Testament. If we believe in the Son of God, we also have the Father. And this is eternal life: to know the Father and the Son whom He sent (cf. John 17:3).

Dear child of God, the Father knows you. Fear no wrath, but keep yourself in the love of God. Be sure that you delight daily in God through His Word and prayer, and you will be like a tree planted by many streams of water, yielding fruit in abundance, blessed by God.

"But the way of the wicked will perish." Do not let this be the way you choose. Choose the way of life through Christ Jesus. For all those who are not in Christ on that day, they will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. I urge you to believe in Jesus and trust God for forgiveness of sins. Be known by God.