PROVERB PRACTICALS   wisdom multiplies days, proverbs 9:10-12 audio

 

Proverbs 9:10-12,  The fear of the LORD is the beginning (the chief and choice part of wisdom) of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.   For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.   If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

The guests have gathered around wisdomís table and instruction has begun.

She has firstly told of the futility of rebuking the scorner but has given strong support for reproof of the wise man saying that the wise man will love those who give instruction toward his welfare.

The scorner is a know-it-all and cannot receive instruction for he already knows everything.

Why would anyone try to instruct one who knows it all?

But the wise man admits his deficiency and wishes to grow in knowledge and rebuke brings knowledge.

In verses 10-12 wisdom returns to a subject she has already discussed in length in earlier parts of Proverbs, but obviously is one of great importance for she again says in:

Proverbs 9:10-12,  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. 11For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased. 12If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes 12:13b says,  Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

This is quite a statement and it is one that adds to wisdomís instruction of Proverbs 9:10.

Fear God, and keep his commandments: This simple statement gives me my mission statement of life.

My whole duty to God is to fear him and to keep his commandments.

Yes, the fearing of God and the keeping of his commandments are tied together.

The result of fearing God is obedience to his commandments.

Fearing God will lead me to obey him.

I then, had better learn what the fear of the Lord is because it is of great importance to my well being.

This proverb tells us that the fear of the Lord is a necessary passage or way on the road of wisdom.

It is the foundational principle upon which wisdom is imparted.

It is that necessity if one is to enter into the quest of wisdom.

We are told to seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasures.

We are told that the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

She adds length of days, riches and honor, ways of pleasantness, and her paths are peace.

What a promise! Everyone ought to want wisdom. What a gift!

But wait! You can not go any further in your quest without passing through the gate called the fear of the Lord.

This is the starting gate that all must pass if wisdom is to be known.

This tells us that wisdom is only given to those who fear the Lord.

All building must start at the foundation.

According to scripture there are two kinds of fear.

One kind is a fear which is beneficial to you and the other kind is harmful to you.

John tells us in 1 John 4:18 that,  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

This verse says that when there is perfect love there is no fear.

It tells us that the kind of fear that John is talking about brings torment and perfect love does not bring torment.

Perfect love and this kind of fear are not compatible.

This fear is the kind of fear that you do not want.

God has made a way for it to be cast out and that way is perfect love.

Perfect love is Jesus Christ. Perfect love is God.

Webster's 1828 dictionary tells us that scripture uses the word fear to express a filial (pertaining to a son or a daughter, duty or obedience due parents by a child) or a slavish fear.

A filial or a slavish fear.

Webster continues by saying that:

"In good men the fear of God is a holy awe or reverence of God and his laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun everything that can offend such a holy being, and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience."

And keeping with the loving nature of God and the fact that everything he requires of us is for our benefit, he also desires that we fear him for our benefit.

This kind of fear is good fear.

This is the kind of fear that produces good in our lives.

We know what good fear is don't we?

God has put in us a healthy fear which keeps us safe.

We should fear death, we should fear accidents, we should fear damage to our bodies.

Children should fear their fathers, their mothers, their teachers.

For without that fear there will not be obedience,

We should fear those in authority because this kind of fear produces good in our lives.

What keeps us from going 100MPH?

Fear keeps us from doing things that will cause us harm.

God has implanted in us friendly fear.

Friendly fear causes us to stay back from the edge and to not walk off a cliff to our deaths.

Friendly fear causes us to walk rightly.

We need this kind of fear.

This is the kind of fear which produces action of our part.

One man has said that fear is a passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security, on the approach of evil.

Wisdom tells us that this is a mark of a prudent man.

Proverbs 22:3,   A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

In our case God knows that evil is approaching, that we are evil, that we live in an evil world and that evil desires to consume us.

So he tells us to fear him and in fearing him he offers us refuge in himself.

Ought not we fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell?

The proper fear of him who is able to do this will cause us to cry out for refuge.

We will be like David who cried:  Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

The same one who tells us to fear God says "Come unto me and I will give you rest."

How do we desire, how do we crave, how do we know we need this rest?

Only because we fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

This is good fear because it produces action on our part.

It excites us to provide for our security, because of the approach of evil.

The fear of God is a necessary ingredient to salvation because it produces in us an understanding that evil is approaching and excites in us a desire for security that only God can provide.

Jesus said to put things in perspective.

He said to get your priorities straight.

Don't worry or fear those that have control of your body.

Donít let the infirmities of your body bring fear to your life.

Don't let this kind of fear control your life.

That kind of fear hath torment and that is not the kind of fear that the child of God is to have.

That kind of fear does not produce good things in your life.

It is vain fear. It is fear in the wrong things.

It is slavish fear, the kind of fear that paralyzes a person from action. That is the devil's fear.

It is the spirit of bondage as mentioned in Romans 8.

It is the fear of man that brings a snare, that brings a trap to bind men.

God is a jealous God and he is even jealous of your fear and he does not want you to have slavish fear, he desires that you fear him because fear in him is designed to produce good things in your life. It is beneficial fear.

So that is why God tells us to Fear him.

He desires that his children have a foundation based upon fear of Him.

It is a must if we desire wisdom.

Our passage not only says that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom but it also says that the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

We are given to see that wisdom leads us to the knowledge of the holy and that gives us understanding.

There is a natural progression on the road of wisdom.

Look what Revelation 15:4 says,  Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

The result to a proper fear of the Lord is a knowledge of the holy or the holy one.

A knowledge of the holy one equals understanding.

Those that have knowledge of the holy one will understand.

Those that do not have knowledge of the holy one will not understand.

Those that have knowledge of the unholy will also not understand.

Therefore the key to the fear of the Lord is the holiness of the Lord.

In order to obey the command to fear the Lord you must have knowledge of the holy one; you must have knowledge of the holiness of God.

There are four meanings to the word Holy.

The first meaning is "to be set apart", or separate.

As far as God is concerned this applies to places where he is present, like the Temple and the tabernacle or the mount upon which Moses met God.

Next, it means to be "perfect, transcendent, or spiritually pure, bringing forth adoration and reverence."

It also means someone who summons "veneration or awe, being frightening beyond belief." Someone who evokes fear.

And lastly it is someone who is, "filled with superhuman and potential fatal power."

As Jesus said:  Ought not we fear the one who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

It is logical that we fear such a one.

These definitions are perfect toward God.

I donít remember where the following description of God came from but it is pertinent to our lesson.

God is holy. He is a jealous God, He is a wrathful God. He is a remote and yet he is near; he is utterly clean, he is glorious, he is majestic. He is unsearchable, He is incomprehensible and cannot be compared to anything, he is great, wonderful, and He is exalted above all things. If you called the name "Holy" he alone would answer. He cannot be comprehended rationally. He cannot be sensed and protected against. There is no getting around him. He cannot be avoided in contact and sight. Thou God seest me! He spans both ends of time, he transcends space, he is beyond space for time or space do not define or hold him. The universe is too small to contain God. He repels, yet He draws. He is always awesome, always mysterious, always unnerving. He demands worship and submission from his creatures. He knows all things. His understanding is beyond measure. He knows the thoughts of our minds and the secrets of our hearts. He knows past events, present happenings and future events. And yet he is personal. He can be understood in terms of earthly relationships that he has established that He might reveal himself to us. We can receive him, we can respond to him, we can accept him, and we can love him. He forgives sins, he restores fellowship. He is the Creator, we are the creature. He is the Judge, we are the sinner. He is the Savior, we are in need of saving. He is the Lord, we are the servant. He is the Father, we are the child.

Thus "holy" defines the godness of God.

But it is not enough to know the facts about God's holiness.

This proverb tells us that the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

The knowledge that is described in this proverb is true knowledge.

Knowledge that does work in a life, because it is knowledge that brings understanding of God.

Knowledge of the Holy One brings absolutes into a life because God is absolute.

Only with absolutes can there be understanding because understanding indicates a standing under fixed unchanging principles.

Understanding means exactly what it says.

Standing under, supporting and holding in the mind the knowledge of the holy One.

True understanding will result in application of the knowledge of the Holy One to one's own life.

Understanding causes action to happen.

Read the instructions to put together a bicycle.

The knowledge is there. It can be memorized and placed in the mind.

But unless there is understanding no action takes place.

Understanding the instructions will result in a bicycle being put together.

The beauty of the knowledge of the holy is that God has so ordained that true knowledge of him will result in understanding.

The knowledge of the holy is understanding. The knowledge of the holy equals understanding. It is guaranteed. As Jesus said in:

John 15:5,  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Abiding is the knowledge of the Holy One.

Abiding in Christ is the knowledge of God because Jesus Christ reveals the Father perfectly.

The knowledge of God results in understanding which always results in fruit bearing.

It is guaranteed for those who know God, those who have the knowledge of the Holy One.

Therefore the key to a proper fear of the Lord is a knowledge of the Holy or the Holy One.

And the knowledge of the holy one equals understanding which is ordained to bring forth fruit.

All things work together for good including wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 9:10-12,  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.  For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.  If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

We see in this passage, in order to know wisdom the fear of the Lord must be present.

Wisdom does not reveal herself to those who get on in life without fearing the one by whom they were created.

Wisdom brings to those who fear the Lord the knowledge of the holy.

That is the mission of wisdom.

That is what wisdom is all about, to bring one the knowledge of the holy.

There is no wisdom apart from the knowledge of the Holy.

Whatever is called wisdom in the world apart from God is not the wisdom that is part with God.

Worldly wisdom passes away while the wisdom that comes with the fear of God is eternal.

So fearing God is paramount if wisdom is expected, and when wisdom enters, the knowledge of the holy comes, and with that comes understanding.

Only those who know God know anything of worth, for all else will pass away and be no more, for all the chaff of this world is refused entry into eternity.

True understanding of all that we are given to see, only comes about with a knowledge of the Holy.

One knowledge that we gain by the fear of the Lord is the fact that God is our benefactor.

That means that he is our helper, our patron, our protector.

All that he does for us is for our benefit and we can do nothing for his benefit.

All that he does is by grace, that is the unmerited favor of God.

He does everything for us without price for we have no entitlement to anything that he offers due of any merit that we may think we have.

Wisdom is given to those who fear God and with wisdom comes benefits.

In our passage for today we are told:  For by me (wisdom) thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

We see here, plainly given, a connection of the fear of the Lord with a lengthening of life.

Now, as I said before the fear of the Lord brings obedience to the Lordís commands.

In the home, the fear of the Father brings obedience of the children to the commands of the Father.

This is the natural outcome of the fear of the Father and this originates from the fear of the Lord.

A genuine fear of the Lord brings a dread upon the child of God of offending his Father.

The child of God has only one desire and that is to please and delight the Father and this pleasing comes about by obedience to the commands of the Father.

The father's law, the father's commandments are designed for the betterment of the son's life, they are designed for continued life on earth and they are designed for eternal life.

The father does not make laws for his son that lessen life, that shorten life, that take life.

The father's laws are not vindictive or grievous.

The father's law, if in the heart, is not a burden, it is not a restraint.

All the father's commands are to promote life.

Even the honoring by the son of father and mother affects the length of his days.

He tells us this in Exodus 20:12,  Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

This is quite a reward from Wisdom is it not?

For wisdom knows that a son who honors his father and his mother in obedience will be in a position of safety and God will be his shield.

Length of life is a promise to those who keep the father's commandments because all commandments and all his judgments are given in behalf of life and promote life.

Some will spend more of those days on earth than others do, but all of the father's sons are promised long life.

What can be longer than eternal life?

We are not to confine ourselves with this life in regard to these proverbs.

We know that as regards this life the wicked may live long and the righteous may die young but all things being equal living by the commandments of God brings longer life.

Therefore the father tells his son that it is valuable to keep his commandments.

There are great benefits as far as life is concerned.

Remember the promise of the Lord to the children of Israel in:

Deuteronomy 11:18,  Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. 19And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 20And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: 21That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

This is the same message that we see in our Proverbs passage.

For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

We also saw this same message when we studied:

Proverbs 3:1,2,  My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:  For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

Days shall be multiplied by wisdom and days shall be multiplied by obedience.

Just think about the cautions of your own father that were given to keep you on a safe path.

They were not commands which would encourage you to go in harmís way but to make wise decisions that kept you on a way that led to life.

Wisdom brings to his child an understanding of the value of life.

Its value is realized in the knowledge and service of God.

It is not to be gambled with in ways of life that are detrimental to life for the body that is given is like any other gift that God entrusts for your stewardship.

Every decision that is made relates to the longevity of life.

Where you go, what you eat and how much you eat, what you do, who you are with when you do it, all have an affect upon your life span.

Wisdom brings to her children this knowledge and inherent in this knowledge is long life.

Some sage has said that age is the only thing that comes to us without effort.

This may be true when it comes to the incessant march of time but it is not true when it comes to the effort that must be made in order to obey the commands of wisdom.

God desires for his children a long life and encourages this by giving wisdom.

Proverbs 16:31 tells us that,  The hoary (gray) head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

It is a gift of God to a church if there are among its congregants a good smattering of gray heads.

Old age is a gift of God and should be welcomed as such, especially if it be found in the way of righteousness.

The gray head is a crown of glory and should be accepted as such.

This spirit of denying ones old age is a rejection of this gift and a vanity that should not be in one who is given the gift of advanced age.

John Wesley who lived between 1703 and 1791 wrote this:

íTis sweet to grow old in the fear of the Lord,

As lifeís shadows longer creep.

Till our steps grow slow, and our sun swings lowó

He gives his beloved sleep.

And a man named Joseph Campbell (1881Ė1944) wrote:

As a white candle In a holy place, So is the beauty Of an aged face.

And a man named Karle Wilson Baker wrote:

Let me grow lovely, growing oldóSo many fine things do; Laces and ivory and gold, And silks need not be new.

And there is a healing in old trees, Old streets a glamour hold; Why may not I, as well as these, Grow lovely, growing old?

And Godís word honors his gift to men by the admonition of

Leviticus 19:32,  Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.

Ranking of men in the scripture is a rarity but God has placed the gray heads in a position of honor.

It is wisdom to respect those God gives to the church who by wisdom have come to an understanding not given to the young.

Lord, hear our prayer for those who, growing old

Feel that their time of usefulness is told.

Let them still find some little part of play,

Nor feel unwanted at the close of day.

Wisdom continues in her instruction in verse 12 by telling who wisdom benefits and the result of a scornful heart,

If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

Wisdom here tells us a great truth.

Wisdom is not a two way street.

God does not give his ear to us thinking that he will be instructed.

God cannot be profited by us. Profit is also one way.

As Eliphaz the Temanite asked of Job in Job 22:1-3,  Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? 3Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that thou art righteous? or is it gain to him, that thou makest thy ways perfect?

And from Elihu in Job 35:6-8,  If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him? 7If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand? 8Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.

Any light that you have makes Godís place no brighter!

But you are wise to yourself.

God gives wisdom for your benefit not His.

You are to be a blessing to the church and to the world.

You are a little reflection of Godís light into the dark places of the world but God has no dark places for you to light up that He may see.

So whatever comes from wisdom benefits the one who invested in wisdom.

And in like manner whoever invest in scorn will also bear the fruit of that scorn.

If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

God will not be affected. God will not be less holy or pure because of the scorn of the scorner.

The scorner is a grief but he will bear the results of that grief alone.

He will eat the fruit of his scorn himself.

As Proverbs 29:1 says,  He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

The principle of course is the same old principle of sowing and reaping.

It is the principle of each man bearing his own burden.

Sow wisdom and you will bear wisdom, sow scorn and you will bear scorn.

The crop is yours to choose but your choice will not change God.