April 12: The Fear of God Is a Wonderful Thing

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 14:2, 26-27; 15:33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4

“He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.” (Proverbs 14:2)

You can tell what people think about God by the way they live. Those who are honest and upright and who deal with equity have the fear of God in their hearts.

Men do not fear God enough. God is not that “happy-go-lucky daddy” in the sky who lets His kids run wild and do whatever they want to do, like some think He is. He is honourable, just, holy, and loving, and He demands that His children have character and conduct like the Son He sent to show us the way to live.

He knows that those who despise Him will live perverse and sinful lives. And it doesn’t matter how much they profess to love God, if they live in sin, they do not have the fear of God. In fact, He says they despise him.

“In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. “ (Proverbs 14:26)

The fear of the Lord is not the kind of fear that makes you want to run away from Him and hide from His presence like Adam. Instead it gives you confidence in Him because you see His greatness. You know He is all powerful. In fact, you have feared and dreaded displeasing Him because you know how upright He is, and He will judge those who do wrong. So you can hide in Him and be safe from your enemies. He is your refuge because you respect Him.

“The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27)

There is not only safety in fearing God, there is also life — abundant life. To fear the Lord is like drinking from the fountain of eternal life.

If you have the fear of God in your heart you will not allow yourself to live a careless life; and this will save you from the snares and pitfalls that would lead to your destruction.

“The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” (Proverbs 15:33)

Those who fear the Lord will instruct others in the ways of wisdom. And one of the things that it will help man to know is that before honour is humility. True honour from God is only given to those who are humble enough to handle it. God will let his proud children have all kinds of honour and praise from man, but they will not receive the kind of honour that comes from God.

“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” (Proverbs 16:6)

Iniquity can never be dealt with unless it is dealt with through truth. We must be absolutely honest with ourselves if we ever hope to overcome our sins and weaknesses.

God knows it is difficult for man always to be truthful, so He sent Truth to live in us. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).

He is the All Merciful One, as Paul wrote to the Church at Ephesus, “…God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, “ (Ephesians 2:4).

It is through love that God has mercy. Without love there can be no mercy. Mercy springs from love and so does truth, for God is Love, and the Father of Truth (even as Satan is the father of lies). In the same way that God purges sin through His mercy and truth, we too can forgive through His love in our hearts which will generate mercy and truth.

But this gift of love, mercy, and truth, is only given to those who have a holy fear of God, even as it is written, “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil” (Proverbs 16:6).

Teach your children to fear the Lord. It will help to keep them from evil.

“The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.” (Proverbs 19:23)

In this generation we are taught by many religious leaders not to fear God. They say we should honour and respect Him but not FEAR Him. But I believe God’s Word teaches differently. This word, “fear” in Hebrew is Yirah (3374). It means, “reverence, fear, terror, awe, and Piety.” We are not to be terrified of Him (Exodus 20:20), but we are demanded to fear Him with holy awe.

“The fear of the Lord tendeth to life… — That is where real living begins!

…he that hath it shall abide satisfied… — That is where satisfaction begins.

…he shall not be visited with evil. “ — That is where real safety begins.

“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)

Humility and fear of the Lord are the keys to true treasures:

That is where true riches begin.

That is where true honour begins.

That is where life begins.

Oh, that man would fear the Lord! True fear of the Lord is generated from humility. The proud do not have the fear of God in their hearts, therefore their souls are in very great danger.


Gems of Wisdom by Gwen Shaw
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