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  • Eugene Adkins 8:16 am on 2016-06-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , fear of the LORD, spiritual benefits   

    A not so between the lines wise tip from the Proverbs 

    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.

    For example:

    • 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.)

     
  • John T. Polk II 9:22 am on 2013-10-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: admiration, , , fear of the LORD, , , , , , walked with God,   

    (#87) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:26-Are You Sure? 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 14:26: “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge.”

    “Fear of the LORD” is the attitude of giving reverence and respect to God in everything we do, because there is no “strong confidence” in being afraid. The “fear of the LORD” is the beginning of “knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7) and “wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Other proverbs teach us that obeying God with admiration should be more important than amassing “great treasure” because “there is a hereafter:” “Better is a little with the fear of the LORD, Than great treasure with trouble” (Proverbs 15:16); “Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day; For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:17-18).

    “Strong confidence” shows no fear, insecurity or doubt, and can get us to Heaven: “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28). When the Apostle Paul wrote to Philemon, he had “confidence in your obedience” (Philemon 21). This can only be said of those who “hearing, believed, and were baptized” (Acts 18:8), for baptism “now saves us” (1 Peter 3:21). No one should be confident of their own salvation unless and until they have followed exactly what the Scriptures teach! The central message of the Old Testament revolves around this thought: “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8). It follows that: “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble Is like a bad tooth and a foot out of joint” (Proverbs 25:19).

    It is tragic when “strong confidence” is placed in humans, rather than in God! The people who run and hide from God have trusted in themselves without learning the “strong confidence” that comes to one who “walked with God,” like Enoch (Genesis 5:22-24) or Noah (Genesis 6:9). It is only in the church of Christ, that “we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (Ephesians 3:10-12).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-09-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , fear of the LORD, , , , , ,   

    (#75) The Proverbs of Solomon 14:2-Straighten Up And Fly Right! 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 14:2: “He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, But he who is perverse in his ways despises Him.”

    To “walk in uprightness” shows a person who is not just acting right, talking right, promising to be right, but someone who actually makes his conviction his lifestyle. “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, But whoever walks wisely will be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26). “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” (1 John 3:7). One who truly “fears the LORD” will have an on-going practice of respectful obedience. Other proverbs that discuss this same theme include: “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility” (Proverbs 15:33); “In mercy and truth Atonement is provided for iniquity; And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil” (Proverbs 16:6); “The fear of the LORD leads to life, And he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23); “By humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches and honor and life” (Proverbs 22:4). “The fear of the LORD” doesn’t mean being scared of God, but rather to deeply respect and bow in awe before the LORD because of what He has done, does, and will do on our Earth. That “fear” causes one to walk uprightly, learn the “instruction of wisdom,” depart from evil, and be blessed with “riches and honor and life.” Both the “righteous” and “perverse” will be held accountable for their “walk,” and Solomon will later say: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

    Conversely, one who is “perverse in his ways despises” (lightly regards, turns up the nose, profanes) God.  Other proverbs show being “perverse” is the way of feeling “guilty,” and is more difficult because of “thorns and snares:” “The way of a guilty man is perverse; But as for the pure, his work is right” (Proverbs 21:8); “Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them” (Proverbs 22:5). The New Testament upholds the danger of remaining “perverse,” that is, contrary to God’s Will, for Paul said: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:7-9). The choice for everyone is to “fear God,” or fool our own self, but God will reward us accordingly.

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • John T. Polk II 4:00 am on 2013-09-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: awe, , , burial, , , dead body, fear of the LORD, fountain of life, , , , , , , , snares of death,   

    (#69) The Proverbs of Solomon 13:14-Don’t Say We Weren’t Warned! 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 13:14: “The law of the wise is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.”

    “A fountain of life” expresses a constant supply of that which is essential to life. Municipal water supplies seem to have replaced cisterns and wells, nevertheless the point is that we all die without some source of drinking water. Spiritually-speaking, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). Since all of God’s “commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172), then everyone striving to be righteous will receive “the word with all readiness” and search “the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things” are so (Acts 17:11). David said with God “is the fountain of life,” and it is through His Word that spiritual life springs eternal. This is what Jesus meant to the woman at the well: “’Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw’” (John 4:13-15).

    An exact parallel to this proverb is in Proverbs 14:27: “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.” “The fear of the LORD” is the same as “the law of the wise.” Reverence and awe for God and His Word go hand-in-hand. Many have gone astray who think they “fear God” but ignore or violate His commandments; likewise, others think they have reverence for God’s Word but profane and desecrate His Person and Name. No one “fears God” without keeping His commandments. Many have thought they had faith in God while rejecting: baptism “in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38); the churches of Christ which Jesus established and “purchased with His own blood” (Matthew 16:18; Romans 16:16; Acts 20:28); clear Scripture on marriage (Mark 10:2-12); and repentance from sins (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

    The purpose for “the fear of the LORD” and “the law of the wise” is “to turn one away from the snares of death.” Nowhere does God promise to save anyone in their sins who do not repent. The common slogans, “God loves me just the way I am;” “I know I’m saved regardless of what you say the Bible says;” “you have no right to ‘judge me’ or my way of life;” have never been taught by God in His Word! In 2 Peter 3:9, we are told, God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” There is “absolutely” no justification for those who “continue in sin” (Romans 6:1), but only for those who die to sin and, by baptism, bury their dead body in Jesus’ grave (Romans 6:2-7). Having listed the overwhelming “desire to be rich,” and “the love of money” being “a root of all kinds of evil,” Paul commanded, “But you, O man of God, flee these things” (1 Timothy 6:9-11). “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26). If we are not saved, it is not because God hasn’t given proper instruction or warning!

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
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