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"PROVERB PRACTICALS" Article in "The Projector" for Proverbs 1:7-9, fear the lord
Proverbs 1:7-9, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.
This passage provides God's curriculum for teaching the fear of the Lord. In Psalm 34, David invites the children to hearken unto him when he says: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. So fear of the Lord is a quality to be taught.
Notice how the fear of the Lord is tied to the obedience of the son. This is the primer lesson of the fear of the Lord in the child. This is where the fear of the Lord is born. This result assumes as a given the godly character of the father and mother, for each has a role in teaching the fear of the Lord to the child.
What is the child to do? He is to hear, which means to do or obey the instruction of the father.
What is the father to do? He is to insure that his instructions are obeyed and that the mother's teaching of his instructions is carried out. Our proverb includes the admonition to the son to "forsake not the law (teaching) of thy mother." What is the teaching of the mother but the instructions of the father? The father is the law giver and the mother is to see to it that the son obeys the law of the law giver. This is the same pattern that God the Father uses to work His will.
How do the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit work the Father's will? Remember that the Son is the Word of God. The Son is the instruction of God the Father. John told us that the function of the Holy Spirit was to teach the disciples all things.
John 14:26, But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance ...
The Holy Spirit teaches the instruction of the Father for He has no agenda of His own.
In John 16:13 we read, Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
The Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself but guides us into all truth given of the Father. So must the mother guide the child into all truth given by the father, for the mother's role is similar to that of the Holy Spirit. Her teaching is based on the word of the father. She is to have no agenda apart from the father but reinforces and carries out his will. This is how it must work in the home if the fear of the Lord is to be learned by the son.
Isn't this the same pattern for the home we read of in Ephesians 5:33? Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Here is the key to teaching the fear of the Lord to the son. The husband is to love his wife, and the wife is to reverence her husband. The word love in this passage is the word for godly, sacrificing love. It is love that seeks the welfare of the wife and works no ill toward her. It is the same love as Christ's love who loved the church and gave Himself for it. That is the Biblical standard of love set for the husband.
The wife is to reverence her husband. The word reverence means to fear her husband. This is the type of fear as in the fear of the Lord, the kind of fear that generates in the wife veneration and a wholesome dread of displeasing him. It is the kind of fear that produces what the fear of the Lord produces. This fear produces knowledge of her husband. This fear is designed to bring them to be what they are declared to be, one flesh. From this reverence, she knows her husband, she knows his instruction to the son and sees to it that it is carried out by the son. The father instructs, and the mother enforces that instruction. The godly father instructs, and the godly mother carries out those instructions as the law of the household. The child will have a healthy fear of the father and the mother, which is the first fruits of the fear of the Lord. Is it possible to fear that which the child cannot see if he is not taught to fear that which he can see? And he observes this fear in his own household as he sees his own father fear the Lord and his own mother reverence her husband.
This is the practical teaching of the Word of God. God knows our frame, but He also shows us the way. He does not tell us to fear the Lord without telling us how to teach the fear of the Lord.