“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command you today for your good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13 NKJV). Before God sent Israel into the Promised Land, He gave Moses this summary of what their part of the covenant required. They were to fear God and keep His commandments, almost what Solomon later said in Ecclesiastes 12:13, and Peter would say in Acts 10:35. Doing this with all our heart and soul has always been the core value of God’s Law, whether through Moses’ or now, through Jesus Christ. Before God accepts us into Heaven, He still requires this!
This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.
Some advice in the book of Proverbs is rather plain and in your face with a stand-alone section of scripture, while some advice is a little more “between the lines” because the words of wisdom are sprinkled throughout the book within individual verses. But there are times in the book when the “tip” (however stand-alone it may seem) goes from being hidden between the lines to standing right out in the open because of the numerous amount of times that a particular phrase gets used.
- there are 31 “chapters” that make up the book of Proverbs
- a particular attention getting word (I’m not talking conjunctions here) is used 28 times in the 31 chapters (which includes the first and the last chapter)
- along with that particular word, another specific and vital word shares space in the same sentence 19 times
- to me, the tip that’s being shared goes from being “between the lines” to an out in the open theme
So what is this not so between the lines wise tip from the Proverbs? Well, the theme shares multiple admonitions either at the beginning or the end of the verse, but the main thrust is, “…The fear of the Lord….”
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Proverbs 1:7)
(As a side note, the admonition to fear God/the Lord isn’t limited in any way to Proverbs. The admonition is replete throughout the scriptures, both in the Old and the New Covenant – including the Gospels when Jesus taught a specific lesson on the topic in Matthew 10:28.)
Not everyone is concerned with pleasing God, but they should be. At some point, all people will appear before God (2 Cor. 5:10). When you stand before God it would be to your advantage to have had a life that was pleasing to Him. Hebrews 10:31 tells us that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Continue reading