(Viña del Mar on a hazy day, looking toward Con-Con, Chile)
Reading through Proverbs proved to be more of an adventure than I had anticipated. Scripture always comes alive when we ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate us, but I confess that I don’t always intentionally ask for His help. When that happens, He takes pity on me and does it anyway.
At the outset, Solomon tells us why these Proverbs were written:
- To gain wisdom and instruction
- For understanding and insight
- Instruction in prudent behavior
- Doing what is right and fair
- To give prudence to the simple
- To give knowledge and discretion to the young
Who doesn’t need that in life? Hey’s straightforward, my kind of writer. I also figured out that just reading through Proverbs every once in a while wasn’t going to make the principles happen in my life
I already shared in Processing Proverbs Part One, which you can read here, that one of the principles that struck me right off and has continued to stick with me through the book is the theme of the fear of the Lord.
And it keeps rattling around in my head.
Sincerely, I get concerned that we tend to be flippant in regards to God. The whole “Jesus is my friend” wave that started back in the 60s and 70s and continues to wash over us, could easily lull us into such a casual relationship with God that we forget or ignore the attributes that don’t fall into the soft and cuddly category of His attributes. Like wrath and justice, both of which are so necessary to understand and embrace the gospel.
God is immutable—He doesn’t change.
So, the God I read about today who struck down ten of the 12 spies who went into Canaan and then came back and instilled fear and grumbling in the Israelites? He is the very same. The New Covenant has not somehow nullified some of His characteristics. I want the whole package of God. That’s the one I trust to be Almighty.
And I need Almighty, don’t you?
So, my biggest takeaway on this round in Proverbs continues to be the theme of the fear of God and how it is an important stone in the foundation of our relationship with Him and the set of values that constitute our worldview.
This is not a list of rules, but I wanted to summarize by mentioning the concept and the passage.
The fear of the Lord:
- Is the beginning of knowledge (1:7)
- Without it, we have no guarantee God will answer us or let Himself be found (1:29)
- It is to be discerned and searched after (2:3-5)
- Is to hate evil (8:13
- Is the beginning of wisdom (9:10)
- Adds length to life (10:27)
- Is a secure fortress and refuge (14:26
- Is a fountain of life and turns a person from the snares of death (14:27)
- Is better than great wealth with turmoil (15:16)
- Is wisdom’s instruction (15:33)
- Through it, evil is avoided (16:6)
- Leads to life, contentment, protection from trouble (19:23)
- Is humility (22:4)
- Requires our zeal (23:17)
If I take seriously just this one aspect of what I gleaned from Proverbs, it will keep my busy for a long time. Not to mention keep me out of a bundle of trouble.
I intend to do that.
Every day I thank God that Chile is still a free enough country for me to read my Bible wherever I choose, pray in public if I want to, attend worship services without physical threat, talk openly about Jesus, and live my life according to my convictions. That is huge. I do not take that for granted. And I never want to.
Next post, I intend to start a new series I fondly call God–Pure and Simple. Basically, I am going to share my discoveries regarding the attributes and the character of God. I am so excited/scared!!! Please meet me here.
Dear Father God, thank you so much for Your word and the incredible privilege to be able to read it. Please instill in my heart what is true, teach me to fear you and what that truly means, and give me the courage to live accordingly.
I welcome your commetnts.