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SIH’s Think On These Things: Proverbs 14:26-27

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SIH TOTT ICONHe layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous (Prov 2:7)

The Pursuit Of The Wise: Gaining Respect For The Lord: Proverbs 14:26-27

26) In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
27) The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

EXPOSITION:

A wise man recognizes his need to possess an appropriate respect and honor of the Lord…

26) In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
Here, we find that a wise man is to possess a “fear” of the Lord.  What does Proverbs mean by the term “fear”?

The Hebrew word that is translated “fear” in both of these verses is a word that carries with it the idea of “recognizing the greatness of someone or something” and then, based upon that recognition, we possess the feelings of: reverence, dread and terror.

1. reverence  teaches us that we are to place ourselves in willful subordination and humility before Him

2. dread  teaches us that we are to approach His presence with great care and awe in recognition of His holiness and hatred of sin.  It emphasizes our need of repentance of sin for unfettered communion with Him.

3. terror  teaches us that we are to always recognize that He will deal with sin in the life of all men.  For the lost, He will execute righteous judgment and condemn to an eternity of separation and punishment in the Lake of Fire.  For the saved, they no longer are to fear God’s eternal judgment for their sins…they are secure in Him.

However, He will deal with unrepentant, willful sin in the Christian’s life through acts of discipline (His hand of chastening).  (Hebrews 12:5-11) This chastening can be a very painful and severe experience for the Christian, and when unheeded, can actually lead to their physical death.  (Acts 5:1-10, 1 Cor 11:28-30, 1 John 5:15-17, Exo 32:32-33)

The easiest way for me to explain this type of fear in a Christian’s life is through an example of myself as a child… I feared disobeying my dad.  I did not fear being thrown out of the family, nor did I fear no longer being loved.  But I certainly did fear my dad’s “hand of judgment” (ie  a spanking).  In that sense I truly “feared” my father.  Many times, that fear restrained me from disobeying Him.  In this sense, every Christian should fear God.

For both the lost and saved, His fear should not be limited to simple reverence and awe, but it should include a literal type of fear and dread of Him, understanding that we continue to be affected by the sin that is in our lives and are held accountable by God through eternal judgment or temporal chastening. Neither is a small matter that should be taken lightly.  This is why Solomon used that specific Hebrew word that tells the wise to “fear” God.

I believe this type of fear, due to false teaching, is lacking in the lives of some Christians today.  This is manifested by Christians who possess carnal lifestyles, take sin lightly and are slack in immediately dealing with sin when they see it creep into their lives.

In our text, we find four reasons for the wise man to properly “fear” the Lord:

1. it is our “strong confidence”.  In other words, through our fear of the Lord we find great confidence knowing the One who has saved us and the One who is our Lord is the Only TRUE GOD….

He knows all things, controls all things, has all power and is everywhere present, therefore, He is the ideal Lord of our life that guarantees we serve “on a winning team”!

It is our knowledge of these things that gives us great confidence as we serve Him.

What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us?  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth.  Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”   (Romans 8:31-37)

2. it is our “place of refuge”.  In other words, He is far greater than Satan, the dark powers of this world, and the events that take place in this world. Therefore, we are safe in the palm of His hand.

It is our knowledge of these things that assures us we have a safe refuge in Him.  We have nothing to fear.

The name of the LORD [is] a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”   (Proverbs 18:10)

 

27) The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

3. it is a fountain of life.  A key aspect of coming to faith in Christ is an acknowledgment of His justice and holiness in His dealings with the sin of lost mankind.  It is this fear of an upcoming judgment against our sin that leads to repentance and the receipt of eternal life.

From the fear of God flows forth repentance and eternal life.

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD, [He is] my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”   (Psalms 91:1-2)

4. Through it we are turned from the traps that death has set for us.  Once again, we can see a proper fear of the Lord will turn the lost from spiritual death by turning to Christ in faith.  For the saved, a proper fear of God will encourage them to obey Him to avoid chastening, and when chastening does occur, to swiftly heed His workings and thereby avoiding a possible shortening of their physical life.

And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, [and] strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD [is] his treasure.”   (Isaiah 33:6)

SUMMARY:

A recognition of the greatness and holiness of the Lord is needed by lost and saved alike.  It is through this recognition of Him that the wise gain:

1. A strong confidence as we serve Him
2. A conviction of the strong refuge that we have in Him
3. A recognition of the need of faith in Christ and repentance of sin
4. An escape from the many traps that are laid by the sinful powers of this world.

By God’s grace, let us all study these proverbs diligently, giving them the value that they deserve.

May the Lord bless us as we receive this sound wisdom and then “Think On These Things”.

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12 Comments

  1. Terry says:

    thanks Rob for a great post

  2. Pastor Rob, I have been writing something about the lack of awe in the lives of Believers. Hopefully, will post it soon, but your explanations above helped tremendously in my understanding. Thanks.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Sue,

      So glad you were able to benefit from the posting. The Proverbs have been a special blessing to me as I have studied them verse by verse for this series, so much to learn and apply for our daily lives. Looking forward to your posting on awe of believers. May the Lord continue to bless your faithful service for His glory!

  3. Debbie says:

    Great encouraging post for us, Pastor Rob! Thank you and God bless you!

  4. SLIMJIM says:

    As I grow more as a Christian the more I appreciate the imagery of godly fear and delight in fearing the Lord in my life; thank you Rob for this study and making the distinction between godly and terrifying fear.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Bro. Jim,

      It is a distinction that MANY do not explain properly. I hear again and again that “the lost should fear the Lord, but the saved should never fear the Lord”. I understand, in the context, they are saying that once we are saved we never have to fear the eternal judgment of the Lord. However, the way it is presented really confuses several issues about the fear of God in the life of a Christian. I am trusting this post will help all of us to properly understand the Christian’s need to fear the Lord in a Scriptural way. Thanks for understanding the main theme of this posting.

      Lord bless you.

  5. When we think of the greatness and holiness of our incredibly amazing God, and think of all He has done for us in the past and what He will do for us in the future, it becomes impossible to think of ourselves.

    ‘The fear of the Lord’ is something too often misunderstood by believers. Of course we do not fear Him in regard to our eternal destiny, but we need to ‘fear’ Him in our everyday lives, thankful that His love, mercy and grace are always foremost and that His chastening is ALWAYS for our good, designed to “grow” us and mature us further towards His goal for us of Christlikeness.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      A proper fear of God, based upon a knowledge of His holiness, is a principle that is so needed today. Lord bless you Angela. Thanks for your comments.

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