PROVERB PRACTICALS   back to the basics, proverbs 15:33, audio

 

Fear of God brings ability. Fear of man brings inability,

Proverbs 15:33,  The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

Every once in a while we hear the call to get back to the basics.

It used to be that reading, writing and arithmetic were the basics of the beginnings of formal education.

I think this is still so but there are so many competing subjects nowadays that sometimes we are apt to forget the importance of learning those basic subjects before we can proceed further in our education.

Now reading, writing and arithmetic may be the basic subjects of formal education but the most basic subject as far as God is concerned is not taught in most schools today for that subject is the fear of the Lord.

I wonder what the reaction would be if we had a course in school entitled Fear of the Lord 101?

But without teaching this subject, the teaching of all other subjects is in fact a vain effort.

For without learning the fear of the Lord life itself becomes vain, which means useless, futile, worthless and empty.

Psalm 19:9 says that, The fear of the LORD is clean (pure), enduring forever.

2 Chronicles 19:7 says to, let the fear of the LORD be upon you.

Proverbs 1:29 says that the fear of the Lord can be chosen,  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

Proverbs 8:13 tells us of the outworking of the fear of the Lord,  The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Proverbs 10:27 says that the fear of the Lord is good for your health and longevity,  The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

Proverbs 14:26 says that the fear of the Lord is a safe place,  In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

Proverbs 16:6 tells us that the fear of the Lord cause men to forsake evil,  By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

Proverbs 19:23 says that the fear of the Lord is a shield against 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 23:17 tells us that we are to fear the Lord all the time,  Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.

And Acts 9:31 tells us that the church that walks in the fear of the Lord will be multiplied,  Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.

So the fear of the Lord is basic.

It is that which is foundational to all doctrine.

It is that which draws oneís focus to God.

It is that which wisdom teaches first to the exclusion of all other teaching as we can easily see in our proverb.

Proverbs 15:33,  The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

Now sometimes proverbs can better be understood by reversing the phrases whenever the word "is" connects the two phrases.

As in math the word "is" means the phrases are equal and can be reversed.

Therefore if the fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom it can also be said that the instruction of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

If we can envision Wisdom as a teacher then that teacher teaches the fear of the Lord.

That is the principal curriculum of wisdom!

It is not the beginning part of the curriculum, it is THE curriculum.

The fear of the Lord is central to wisdom's teaching.

Without the fear of the Lord you cannot come to wisdomís table.

Proverbs 1:7 says,  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge and Proverbs 9:10 says, The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

This does not mean that the fear of the Lord starts a man on the road to wisdom and something else carries him beyond as most would understand the word beginning.

The word beginning is not the same as we would think of the beginning of a relay race.

The word beginning in these two verses does not mean the opposite of ending.

The word beginning in these two verses means the principal thing, the first in order of rank.

In other words wisdom is impossible to be gained without a continuing and constant fear of the Lord.

Wisdom constantly instructs the fear of the Lord.

Wisdom is a one track teacher in this regard.

Wisdom teaches the fear of the Lord yesterday, today and forever.

The fear of the Lord is the first in order of rank of wisdom and the first in order of rank of knowledge.

As the foundation of a building continually supports that building and never ceases to hold up the building so to is the fear of the Lord the foundational principle of wisdom.

The foundation is the beginning of a building, but this beginning continues as long as the building exists.

The foundation does not cease once the building is complete.

So too must the fear of the Lord continue as long as wisdom exists.

Didn't Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes admonish all to fear God and that this is the conclusion of the whole matter.

The instruction of wisdom is the fear of the LORD!

It is the beginning and conclusion of the whole matter.

And wisdom never ceases to instruct, therefore the fear of the Lord is always being taught by wisdom.

And as believers in the word of God and as representatives of Jesus Christ who is Wisdom personified, we too must instruct the fear of the Lord continually if we expect to be wise and if we expect that our children be wise!

David said in Psalm 34:11,  Come, ye children, hearken (be attentive and obey) unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

The fear of the Lord is taught!

Notice in the Old Testament how the fear of the Lord was taught to men without the written word of God.

We can read of this in: 2 Chronicles 17:10, And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.

God brought men though experiences to teach them the fear of the Lord.

God confronted men with experiences.

The simple require confrontations, they require experiences.

Children require experiences!

No one is wise in this life unless that wisdom comes from the fear of God.

And God's method is to take the simple through experiences to become wise so that they will simply respond to spoken or written word and not need experiences.

But how do the simple become wise.

It is through the fear of the Lord!

Throughout the Old Testament we read of God putting men though experiences to bring them to fear the Lord.

The Old Testament is filled with life experiences of Adam and Eve, Noah, Job, Abraham, Joseph, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and many others.

And those life experiences were designed by God to teach them and those around them the fear of the Lord.

God, as the Father, brought his children through life experiences that taught them the fear of Him.

And we as parents, teachers, preachers are to take those life experiences that he has given in his word.

Through teaching them to the simple, though they be children or adult, we will teach the fear of the Lord.

Without this teaching there cannot be a believing in the Word of God.

The simple require experiences and if not to themselves the experiences of others.

God provides a multitude of others and their experiences in his word.

That is why teaching the stories of the Old Testament to our children is so important.

We must emphasize what God emphasizes in their stories, that is, the fear of the Lord.

The order of the Bible itself is in line with how to teach the fear of the Lord.

Do not the experiences of others dominate the beginning of the Bible and as the Bible progresses experiences lessen and doctrine or word increases until the pure Word of God appears in Jesus Christ?

The history of the man of the Bible is a transition from the simple to the wise, from needed experience to simply obedience to word.

What was the law but a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ?

The law, experience, was used to bring us to Christ, the Word.

The law provided experiences which were designed to bring the man to Christ, the Word of God.

The law was confrontational.

Look to the Old Testament for the phrase "fear of the Lord".

It appears 29 times while only once in the New Testament.

The word fear itself appears in the Old 323 times while in the New it appears 77 times.

The fear of the Lord is a foundational principle laid in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is the resource that God intends for us to use to teach the fear of the Lord.

To the simple, experience is the best teacher.

To the wise the word is the best teacher.

The simple will be made wise by the experience of others including the others in the Bible.

The stories of those others are to be made vivid and real to the simple and those experiences of others will bring the simple to a fear of the Lord.

And the stories are not to be watered down stories.

They need to be made real with all authority and realism.

Noah's Arc is not to be pictured with sweet cartoon animals and pleasant scenes but it is to be pictured as the only place of safety from God's wrath.

Tell the story truly of the death and destruction that took place when God told Joshua to utterly destroy the inhabitants of the land.

Picture the prophet Samuel as he hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

Describe without dilution or compromise the story of Elijah as he took the prophets of Baal down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

Nowadays if you use such graphics with children it is thought of as harsh but Satan wishes for your children to not learn the fear of the Lord.

But the Bible says: Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

It is clear from scripture, a child, a person, without the fear of the Lord will not be saved.

Without the fear of the Lord you cannot partake of wisdom and wisdom is Jesus Christ personified.

The fear of the Lord leads to a love of the truth which is a love of the Word of God.

Moses said in Deuteronomy 10:12, And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

How do you serve? You serve in love.

How do you love? You walk in his ways!

How do you walk in his ways? You fear the Lord.

It all starts with the fear of the Lord.

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

This word "before" is not a time reference but a position.

It means how you face honor.

It is like standing before the mirror.

It means how you are to respond to honor for you are to respond to honor with humility knowing that any honor you receive is because of God.

What is humility but a fear of the Lord.

A recognition that you are nothing and that God is everything.

A recognition that anything that you have is from the hand of God.

A recognition that anything you are is because God made you to be what you are.

True humility is only possible because of the fear of the Lord!

And it is easy to see where the fear of the Lord is absent.

For when honor is bestowed to those who fear not the Lord, they think they are worthy of honor for they are men and women who think of themselves as self made, who think of themselves as those who did it their way.

But it is simply pride showing itís ugly head.

God will have none of this for all glory is to be to God.

Jeremiah 9:23, Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

But to glory in such a way cannot be done without first fearing the Lord.

 

Proverbs 15:33,  The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

Sometimes proverbs can better be understood by reversing the phrases whenever the word "is" connects the two phrases.

As in math the word "is" means the phrases are equal and can be reversed. Is not a=b the same as b=a?

Therefore if the fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom it can also be said that the instruction of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.

If we can envision Wisdom as a teacher then that teacher teaches the fear of the Lord.

That is the principal curriculum of wisdom!

It is not the beginning part of the curriculum, it is THE curriculum.

The fear of the Lord is central to wisdom's teaching.

Without the fear of the Lord you cannot partake of wisdom.

Proverbs 1:7 says,  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge and Proverbs 9:10 says,  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

This does not mean that the fear of the Lord starts a man on the road to wisdom and something else carries him beyond as most would understand the word beginning.

The word beginning is not the same as we would think of the beginning of a relay race.

The word beginning in these two verses does not mean the opposite of ending.

The word beginning in these two verses means the principal thing, the first in order of rank.

In other words wisdom is impossible to be gained without a continuing and constant fear of the Lord.

Wisdom constantly instructs the fear of the Lord.

Wisdom is a one track teacher in this regard.

Wisdom teaches the fear of the Lord yesterday, today and forever.

The fear of the Lord is the first in order of rank of wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is the first in order of rank of knowledge.

As the foundation of a building continually supports that building and never ceases to hold up the building so to is the fear of the Lord the foundational principle of wisdom.

The foundation is the beginning of a building, but this beginning continues as long as the building exists.

The foundation does not cease once the building is complete.

So too must the fear of the Lord continue as long as wisdom exists.

Didn't Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes admonish all to fear God and that this is the conclusion of the whole matter.

The instruction of wisdom is the fear of the LORD!

It is the beginning and conclusion of the whole matter.

And wisdom never ceases to instruct, therefore the fear of the Lord is always being taught by wisdom.

And as believers in the word of God and as representatives of Jesus Christ who is wisdom personified, we too must instruct the fear of the Lord continually if we expect to be wise and if we expect that our children be wise!

David said in Psalm 34:11,  Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

The fear of the Lord is taught!

Notice in the Old Testament how the fear of the Lord was taught to men without the written word of God.

We can read of this in: 2 Chronicles 17:10,  And the fear of the LORD fell upon all the kingdoms of the lands that were round about Judah, so that they made no war against Jehoshaphat.

God brought men though experiences to teach them the fear of the Lord.

God confronted men with experiences.

The simple require confrontations, they require experiences.

No one is wise in this life unless that wisdom comes from the fear of God.

And God's method is to take the simple through experiences to become wise so that they will simply respond to spoken or written word and not need experiences.

But how do the simple become wise. It is through the fear of the Lord!

Throughout the Old Testament we read of God putting men though experiences to bring them to fear the Lord.

The Old Testament is filled with life experiences of Adam and Eve, Noah, Job, Abraham, Joseph, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and many others.

And those life experiences were designed by God to teach them and those around them the fear of the Lord.

God as the Father brought his children through life experiences that taught them the fear of Him.

And we as preachers, teachers or parents or child care workers are to take those life experiences that he has given in his word.

Through teaching them to the simple, though they be children or adult, we will teach the fear of the Lord.

Without this teaching there cannot be a believing in the word of God.

The simple require experiences and if not to themselves the experiences of others.

God provides a multitude of others and their experiences in his word.

That is why teaching the stories of the Old Testament to our children if so important.

We must emphasize what God emphasizes in their stories, that is, the fear of the Lord.

The order of the Bible itself is in line with how to teach the fear of the Lord.

Do not the experiences of others dominate the beginning of the Bible and as the Bible progresses experiences lessen and doctrine or word increases until the pure word of God appears in Jesus Christ?

The history of the man of the Bible is a transition from the simple to the wise, from needed experience to simply obedience to word.

What was the law but a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ?

The law, experience, was used to bring us to Christ, the Word.

The law provided experiences which were designed to bring the man to Christ, the word of God.

The law was confrontational.

Look to the Old Testament for the phrase "fear of the Lord".

It appears 29 times while only once in the New Testament.

The word fear itself appears in the Old 323 times while in the New it appears 77 times.

The fear of the Lord is a foundational principle laid in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is the resource that God intends for us to use to teach the fear of the Lord.

To the simple, experience is the best teacher. To the wise the word is the best teacher.

The simple will be made wise by the experience of others including the others in the Bible.

The stories of those others are to be made vivid and real to the simple and those experiences of others will bring the simple to a fear of the Lord.

And the stories are not to be watered down stories.

They need to be made real with all authority and realism.

Noah's Arc is not to be pictured with sweet cartoon animals and pleasant scenes but it is to be pictured as the only place of safety from God's wrath.

Tell the story truly of the death and destruction that took place when God told Joshua to utterly destroy the inhabitants of the land.

Picture the prophet Samuel as he hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

Describe without dilution or compromise the story of Elijah as he took the prophets of Baal down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.

Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

It is clear from scripture, a child, a person, without the fear of the Lord will not be saved.

Without the fear of the Lord you cannot partake of wisdom and wisdom is Jesus Christ personified.

The fear of the Lord leads to a love of the truth which is a love of the Word of God.

Moses said in Deuteronomy 10:12,  And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

How do you serve? You serve in love. How do you love? You walk in his ways! How do you walk in his ways? You fear the Lord.

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

What is humility but a fear of the Lord.

A recognition that you are nothing and that God is everything.

A recognition that anything that you have is from the hand of God.

A recognition that anything that you are is because God made you to be what you are.

True humility is only possible because of the fear of the Lord!