WFW: The Fear of the Lord
"...They hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord..." (Proverbs 1:29) Today, I'd like to talk about the fear of the Lord. You'll notice that in the above Scripture, it says that they did not CHOOSE the fear of the Lord; in other words, it is our choice. So what is the fear of the Lord and do you have it? Well, for today's WFW, I thought it would be fun to give you a quiz. The Bible asks us to "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? --unless indeed you are disqualified" (2Co 13:5). Examining ourselves can be challenging, because we can find some things that we aren't doing that we should be doing; therefore, some of the Scriptures in this quiz might be just that for some of us. But it's my hope that if you see any area in which you are lacking, you will fix it, as the Scriptures command us to do (James 4:17); that is the purpose of studying and reading God's Word, after all -- if we really do want to be pleasing to Him. In addition, there are some wonderful promises available to us if we do fear the Lord. So here's how the quiz works: I have referenced several Scriptures which specifically mention the fear of the Lord and turned them into an "If you fear the Lord, then..." quiz. After some of the references, you will see "compare with." These are Scriptures that support/explain more indepth those that I have listed. I recommend that you look up especially those ones, because it makes for a rather interesting study. This quiz is by no means exhaustive, as I'm not yet finished with my study and I'm sure there are more Scriptures, so if you can think of any, feel free to leave a comment and let me know. So here goes my WFW quiz...
If you fear the Lord ... ... you depart from evil (Prov. 3:7; Job 28:28; Prov 16:6 -- this verse makes it clear that is is BY the fear of the Lord that one departs from evil -- compare with 1 John 5:18) ... you have wisdom and knowledge (Prov. 9:10, Prov 1:7) and are therefore happy (Prov 3:18) ... you do not despise wisdom and instruction (Pr 1:7) ... you do His commandments and have good understanding (Ps. 111:10, Ecc 12:13, Job 28:28; Prov 9:10; compare John 14:15 -- "If you love Me, keep my commandments" -- and compare with 1 John 5:18 and Ps 103:18) ... you are clean/pure, because the fear of the Lord is clean (Ps 19:9; compare with Ps 51) ... the Lord's intimacy [literal translation] is with you and He will show you His covenant (Ps 25:14; compare Heb 8:10-12) ... you abide in Him [literal translation]/fear Him (Ps 33:8; compare John 15:4-5) ... you serve Him in sincerity and in truth (Jos 24:14), obey Him (I Sa 12:14), and consider the great things He has done for you (1 Sa 12:24) ... you are delivered from all your enemies (2 Kings 17:39) ... you praise and glorify God (Ps 22:23) ... the eye of the Lord is upon you (Ps 33:18) ... the angel of the Lord encamps around you and delivers you (Ps 34:7) ... you have no lack (Ps 34:9) ... you keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit (Ps 34:11,13) ... you depart from evil and do good; you seek peace and pursue it (Ps 34:11, 14) ... you are not a fool because the fear of God is before your eyes (Ps 36:1; compare with 1 John 5:18) ... the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon you and His righteousness is upon your children's children (Ps 103:17) ... you incline your ear to wisdom and apply your heart to understanding (Prov 2:2) ... you cry out for knowledge and lift up your voice for understanding (Prov 2:3) ... you seek her [wisdom] as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; you understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God (Prov 2:4-5) ... you have sound wisdom; you trust in God and He is your shield (Prov 2:7; compare Ps 91:4 and John 17:17) ... the Lord guards your just paths and preserves your way (Prov 2:8) ... you understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path (Prov 2:9) ... wisdom has entered your heart and knowledge is pleasant to your soul (Prov 2:10) ... discretion preserves you and understanding keeps you, to deliver you from the way of evil (Prov 2:11-12) ... you hate evil -- the pride, the arrogancy, the evil way, and the froward mouth, which the Lord hates (Prov 8:13) ... your days are prolonged (Prov 10:27) ... you have strong confidence and your children will have a place of refuge (Prov 14:26; compare Prov 1:33 -- "But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.") ... you have a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death (Prov 14:27; Prov 19:23) ... you abide in satisfaction and will not be visited by evil (Prov 19:23; again, compare Prov 1:33) ... you have humility, riches, honor, and life (Prov 22:4; compare John 4:13-14 and Prov 4:22) ... you don't envy sinners; you stay in the fear of the Lord (Prov 23:17; compare Ps 37:34-36) ... you do not fear men, but you put your trust in the Lord and are safe (Prov 29:25; compare Ps 31:20) ... wisdom and knowledge are the stability of your times and the strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is your treasure (Is 33:6; compare Prov 2:4) ... when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him (Is 59:19)
So how did you do on the quiz? I'm sure that each of us saw something that we can apply to our lives. My pastor once said, "Do what you know and then you will grow." 1 Peter 2:2 states, "as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby..." So what will you work on today, this week? Remember, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." It is NEVER a daunting task if Christ, our strength, is with us! So let's "set our minds on things above, and not on things of the earth, for we died and lives are hidden with Christ in God," and "how shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Colossian 3:2, and Romans 6:2) Let's keep our eyes on the prize and "run in such a way that we may obtain it" (1 Corinthians 9:24).