Processing Proverbs-Part One









Please forgive me for the switcheroo.

In my last post I said I was going to start discussing the attributes of God, and that is on the roster, but this morning I made an “executive” decision since I couldn’t consult anyone else but the Lord, and he gave me a thumbs-up.

For a while now, I’ve followed the studies at Hello Mornings, which you can check out here. The next session isn’t until February, so they suggested reading through the book of Proverbs a chapter a day. I hadn’t done so for…years. So, I decided it was a good move. And I was right. If you are an avid reader of, or an expert on, the book of Proverbs, please bear with me while I process and share.

Everybody wants wisdom, right?

Or understanding/knowledge. At least, I assume so. We have so many choices to make every day and then come the consequences of those choices. And even not making a decision is in itself a decision. I’ve had to learn that one the hard way.

In the Bible, the book of Proverbs, chapter one, verse seven says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…” I’ve probably read that a zillion times. But now I am purposely thinking about what fearing the Lord means.

Lots of words come to mind: Respect. Reverence. Obedience. Honor. Deference. Fear—as in being afraid.

But practically speaking, what does the fear of the LORD look like in my life?

This was harder for me to articulate than I had contemplated. Especially when I have determined not to “me-bash” with a barrage of shoulds and oughts. Trust me, I had enough of those growing up. And they didn’t really help all that much. Can I get an amen?

So, in my life, I have summed up that fearing the Lord is:

  • Keeping his commandments
  • Keeping my commitments to Him (he and I know what those are)
  • Putting Him first (for realsies)
  • A healthy acknowledgment of the fact that he can do what he wants with me or the world at any given moment.

This last truth comforts more than frightens me.

In another post we could look more closely, but for now let’s say in keeping his commandments, that the overriding principle is summed up like this: To love Him with my whole heart, soul, mind, and with all my strength.

To me, that sounds like a full-time job.

Keeping my commitments I will omit for now, because they are between me and him.

And putting him first?

  • Take into first consideration his desires
  • Take into account the global picture of his kingdom
  • Know what he says, as in Scripture, and obey it
  • Consult him first about stuff, before another human being. This last one is hard.

I will go into more detail about the being afraid part when I start discussing his attributes. Nahum 1:5 kinda sums it up for me: In his presence the mountains quake, and the hills melt away; the earth trembles, and its people are destroyed.

Again, that affords me more comfort than terror. And I will discuss why later, also. Hint: who wants to have faith in someone at my level?

The last thing before this post gets too long and you abandon it altogether: the proverb declares the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge. Beginning, as in:

  • cornerstone
  • foundation
  • first step toward
  • place of origin
  • launching pad

Returning to the original idea, then…in order to acquire knowledge or wisdom, I have to first fear the Lord.

Sounds like a good New Year resolution.

How about you? What does the fear of the Lord look like in your daily life? Or if up to now that concept has not even been a blip on your radar, why is that? What has been your foundation for knowledge instead?






About colleenshinephillips

Writer, veteran missionary, adventure and intrigue-lover. Convinced of the power of the word and the Word.
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5 Responses to Processing Proverbs-Part One

  1. I love this reminder of how important it is to approach God with reverence before we can truly begin to know Him intimately. When we consider how personal God gets with us, how we’re invited to call Jesus our friend, we can be tempted to ignore the magnitude of that privilege. The Creator and Sustainer of the Universe and everything and everyone in it, reigns as Supreme Authority. His love allows us to approach His throne of grace with bold faith, but it’s not wise to forget He’s sitting on that throne for good reason. Hallelujah! I pray the Lord will continue to help me love Him so deeply and completely that obedience feels like the act of loving worship He intended it to be.

    I appreciate you sharing your heart, Colleen.

  2. Patti Brown says:

    What a great explanation of what it means to fear the Lord. I think people get really confused by this phrase.

  3. colleenshinephillips says:

    Thank you, Patti. I am sharing what God is teaching me. Best adventure ever!

  4. Pingback: PROCESSING PROVERBS–FINAL | Colleen Shine Phillips

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