Many wise men have written wise sayings for people to follow. The wisest of men was King Solomon, because God gave him the wisdom to rule his people that he asked for. Then, because of his wise prayer and requests God gave him what he did not ask for; and it was many of those blessings which caused him to fall.
My reading today was Proverbs 1 – 14. I will not spend a whole lot of time here going through these chapters. There are two or three things about the “fear of the LORD” I do want to point out.
“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel; to know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; to receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; to give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.” Proverbs 1:1-4 (KJV)
Solomon gives us the purpose for the Proverbs; to know wisdom and instruction; to perceive [discern] words of understanding; to receive instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity; or as the New Living Translation says it –
“Through these proverbs, people will receive instruction in discipline, good conduct, and doing what is right, just, and fair.” Proverbs 1:3 (NLT)
One thing we need to understand about these proverbs is that they are “Proverbs” not “Promises”. They are basically a general rule of things. God has given us many precious promises in His Word, these are not them. There is much to learn in Proverbs. How we deal with God, our fellow man, knowledge, understanding, wisdom – there are many individual verses of Proverbs dealing with wisdom, however, there are two complete chapters of Proverbs which personalize wisdom (chapters 8 – 9).
Let us proceed with a couple of more sets of Proverbs.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” 1:7
Of this verse Matthew Henry has written –
To make young people such as they should be,
I. Let them have regard to God as their supreme.
1. He lays down this truth, that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (v. 7); it is the principal part of knowledge (so the margin); it is the head of knowledge; that is, (1.) Of all things that are to be known this is most evident, that God is to be feared, to be reverenced, served, and worshipped; this is so the beginning of knowledge that those know nothing who do not know this. (2.) In order to the attaining of all useful knowledge this is most necessary, that we fear God; we are not qualified to profit by the instructions that are given us unless our minds be possessed with a holy reverence of God, and every thought within us be brought into obedience to him. If any man will do his will, he shall know of his doctrine, Jn. 7:17. (3.) As all our knowledge must take rise from the fear of God, so it must tend to it as its perfection and centre. Those know enough who know how to fear God, who are careful in every thing to please him and fearful of offending him in any thing; this is the Alpha and Omega of knowledge.
2. To confirm this truth, that an eye to God must both direct and quicken all our pursuits of knowledge, he observes, Fools (atheists, who have no regard to God) despise wisdom and instruction; having no dread at all of God’s wrath, nor any desire of his favour, they will not give you thanks for telling them what they may do to escape his wrath and obtain his favour. Those who say to the Almighty, Depart from us, who are so far from fearing him that they set him at defiance, can excite no surprise if they desire not the knowledge of his ways, but despise that instruction. Note, Those are fools who do not fear God and value the scriptures; and though they may pretend to be admirers of wit they are really strangers and enemies to wisdom. MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARY, LibronixDigitalLibrarySystem
The final verses I would point out in my reading for the day are,
“In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and His children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” 14:26-27
Of these verses I have written previously. There is strong confidence for the children of the LORD who place their trust in the LORD. When we truly fear God there is absolutely nothing else to fear.
When we know the One who has taken all the wrath of God upon Himself, and that is Jesus Christ; then we have perfect peace with God, there is no condemnation, and we have an eternal resting place with the Creator of all that is.
-Tim A. Blankenship