Verse of the Day Devotion: Proverbs 1:7
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. ” – Proverbs 1:7
This is an interesting verse because many do not understand what Solomon is trying to say. This is especially true of unbelievers. This is mostly because of their lack of understanding regarding the use of the word ‘fear’ within the scriptures. When we look in most dictionaries, we see these pretty much as the basic idea.
“A very unpleasant or disturbing feeling caused by the presence or imminence of danger.”
“A reason for dread or extreme apprehension”
“To be afraid or frightened of something or someone.
If someone only sees these definitions for the word fear, they will see God as scary which may prevent them from pursuing Him. Now, this will be the fear those who never accept the grace and mercy of God through the work of Christ on the cross, will experience when the end comes. The writer of Hebrews writes this regarding those who keep on sinning. “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?. For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” Hebrews 10:26-30. “And regarding those who denied Christ, Hebrews finishes with “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Hebrews 10:31.
But for us as Christians, the word fear has a different idea. For us, the fear of God does not refer to scared, but to reverence and awe of God. We are not scared of Him, but we revere Him. We leave sin and seek after righteousness. “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.” Proverbs 8:13. Solomon in Ecclesiastes wrote the following, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.” Ecclesiastes 12:13. And again, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” Proverbs 3:7.
To fear the Lord is not to be scared, but to obey Him, following in His ways, and to turn away from evil. “Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” Deuteronomy 10:12-13 This is a good fear, one that is pleasing to God and shows our devotion to Him who loves us and saved us so we can be with Him for all eternity.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.