The Fear of the Lord Leads to Life

“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 NKJV

An acquaintance/minister posed the following question the other day: What is the biggest issue in the modern church?  One person said division. Another answered lack of faith. The answered went on and on going through every sin and struggle.  Then another pastor jumped in and said “reverence”.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Proverbs, chapters 19-21 (embedded below the image below for your convenience).

The pastor that said reverence went on to explain why he picked that word – and in my own words after thinking about it I would like to share a combination of my own thoughts and his.

He said the lack of “reverence” or “respected fear of God” comes from lack of wisdom (hey that is in today’s reading)! Lack of wisdom comes from blind eyes, deaf ears, closed understanding. 

With ever little tiny bit of understanding we grasp the sovereignty of God – more and more and then fear of the Lord grows naturally. But if knowledge increases without a balance of wisdom and reverence we can find ourselves in trouble.

I know someone who is off-balance and easily overrun by fear as the enemy exploits her partial understanding and reverence. She needs wisdom to balance her reverence – because it is not “fear” of the Lord, as in the since of being afraid – it is fear as in being in awe.

I had the privilege of standing so close to the top of a mountain – at almost the highest point in that county – in the middle of the night – in the pitch black and only the light of the mood and stars. I stood there as a child with my family and we looked up at the Aurora Borealis also known as the northern lights and watch God paint the sky.
It was probably the first time I felt so small, understood how big God is, and was overwhelmed by an indescribable understanding that made me weep. Not sad or happy – just overcome by awe! It was glorious. I hope and pray you each have (or had) at least one moment like this in your life – where God was just so literally awesome that you were overcome with awe. This type of experience puts things in perspective and merges knowledge and wisdom. 

But what so we do with all these blind eyes?  I was at a church prayer meeting and during that quiet time when we all pray our own things quietly I always pray for eyes and ears and understanding be open (you all know this from my daily prayer up top, that I pray over all of you).  Some scriptures cannot be over used!  And as I prayed over the leader of the prayer meeting asking that God open his eyes, he lifted his hands up and held his head by laying his face in his palms – specifically his eyes! What was that?! And as I said ears the guy to the right held his head by the ears!!! The lady next to me heard my quiet prayer and looked and after asked me why they covered – I don’t know but I will pray more for them! And for everyone – because if we are blind deaf and dumb – we are asleep! We are ineffectual. We are disobedient because we cannot hear, see or understand what it is we are to be obedient to!!! There is grace – there is always grace. BUT we can still have grace once our eyes and ears are open as well!!!

Jesus came to give us life more abundantly – well, we see that is from wisdom and reverence of God! True awe – consuming – overcoming – Job’s terrestrial experience level reality of experiencing God and wisdom!  Oh Lord, open the eyes to see, ears to hear and the understanding that we might live!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: Mark 16:17-18 – This month is month two of the two for one special!!!
NKJV – “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NAS – “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
ESV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
NLT – “These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
NIV – “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Proverbs 19-21 NKJV

The Fear of the Lord Leads to Life

19 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge,
And he sins who hastens with his feet.

The foolishness of a man twists his way,
And his heart frets against the Lord.

Wealth makes many friends,
But the poor is separated from his friend.

A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies will not escape.

Many entreat the favor of the nobility,
And every man is a friend to one who gives gifts.
All the brothers of the poor hate him;
How much more do his friends go far from him!
He may pursue them with words, yet they [a]abandon him.

He who gets [b]wisdom loves his own soul;
He who keeps understanding will find good.

A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who speaks lies shall perish.

10 Luxury is not fitting for a fool,
Much less for a servant to rule over princes.

11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger,
And his glory is to overlook a transgression.

12 The king’s wrath is like the roaring of a lion,
But his favor is like dew on the grass.

13 A foolish son is the ruin of his father,
And the contentions of a wife are a continual [c]dripping.

14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers,
But a prudent wife is from the Lord.

15 Laziness casts one into a deep sleep,
And an idle person will suffer hunger.

16 He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who [d]is careless of his ways will die.

17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord,
And He will pay back what he has given.

18 Chasten your son while there is hope,
And do not set your heart [e]on his destruction.

19 A man of great wrath will suffer punishment;
For if you rescue him, you will have to do it again.

20 Listen to counsel and receive instruction,
That you may be wise in your latter days.

21 There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.

22 What is desired in a man is [f]kindness,
And a poor man is better than a liar.

23 The fear of the Lord leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.

24 A lazy man buries his hand in the [g]bowl,
And will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.

25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary;
Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.

26 He who mistreats his father and chases away his mother
Is a son who causes shame and brings reproach.

27 Cease listening to instruction, my son,
And you will stray from the words of knowledge.

28 [h]disreputable witness scorns justice,
And the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.

29 Judgments are prepared for scoffers,
And beatings for the backs of fools.

Wine Is a Mocker

20 Wine is a mocker,
Strong drink is a brawler,
And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

The [i]wrath of a king is like the roaring of a lion;
Whoever provokes him to anger sins against his own life.

It is honorable for a man to stop striving,
Since any fool can start a quarrel.

The lazy man will not plow because of winter;
He will beg during harvest and have nothing.

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water,
But a man of understanding will draw it out.

Most men will proclaim each his own [j]goodness,
But who can find a faithful man?

The righteous man walks in his integrity;
His children are blessed after him.

A king who sits on the throne of judgment
Scatters all evil with his eyes.

Who can say, “I have made my heart clean,
I am pure from my sin”?

10 Diverse weights and diverse measures,
They are both alike, an abomination to the Lord.

11 Even a child is known by his deeds,
Whether what he does is pure and right.

12 The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
The Lord has made them both.

13 Do not love sleep, lest you come to poverty;
Open your eyes, and you will be satisfied with bread.

14 It is [k]good for nothing,” cries the buyer;
But when he has gone his way, then he boasts.

15 There is gold and a multitude of rubies,
But the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.

16 Take the garment of one who is surety for a stranger,
And hold it as a pledge when it is for a seductress.

17 Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.

18 Plans are established by counsel;
By wise counsel wage war.

19 He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets;
Therefore do not associate with one who flatters with his lips.

20 Whoever curses his father or his mother,
His lamp will be put out in deep darkness.

21 An inheritance gained hastily at the beginning
Will not be blessed at the end.

22 Do not say, “I will [l]recompense evil”;
Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.

23 Diverse weights are an abomination to the Lord,
And dishonest scales are not good.

24 A man’s steps are of the Lord;
How then can a man understand his own way?

25 It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy,
And afterward to reconsider his vows.

26 A wise king sifts out the wicked,
And brings the threshing wheel over them.

27 The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord,
Searching all the [m]inner depths of his heart.

28 Mercy and truth preserve the king,
And by [n]lovingkindness he upholds his throne.

29 The glory of young men is their strength,
And the splendor of old men is their gray head.

30 Blows that hurt cleanse away evil,
As do stripes the [o]inner depths of the heart.

The Lord Considers the Heart

21 The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord,
Like the [p]rivers of water;
He turns it wherever He wishes.

Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
But the Lord weighs the hearts.

To do righteousness and justice
Is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

A haughty look, a proud heart,
And the [q]plowing of the wicked are sin.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

Getting treasures by a lying tongue
[r]Is the fleeting fantasy of those who seek death.

The violence of the wicked will [s]destroy them,
Because they refuse to do justice.

The way of [t]a guilty man is perverse;
But as for the pure, his work is right.

Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop,
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

10 The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.

11 When the scoffer is punished, the simple is made wise;
But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.

12 The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked,
Overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness.

13 Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be heard.

14 A gift in secret pacifies anger,
And a bribe [u]behind the back, strong wrath.

15 It is a joy for the just to do justice,
But destruction will come to the workers of iniquity.

16 A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.

17 He who loves pleasure will be a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.

18 The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous,
And the unfaithful for the upright.

19 Better to dwell [v]in the wilderness,
Than with a contentious and angry woman.

20 There is desirable treasure,
And oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man squanders it.

21 He who follows righteousness and mercy
Finds life, righteousness, and honor.

22 A wise man [w]scales the city of the mighty,
And brings down the trusted stronghold.

23 Whoever guards his mouth and tongue
Keeps his soul from troubles.

24 A proud and haughty man—“Scoffer” is his name;
He acts with arrogant pride.

25 The desire of the lazy man kills him,
For his hands refuse to labor.
26 He covets greedily all day long,
But the righteous gives and does not spare.

27 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
How much more when he brings it with wicked intent!

28 A false witness shall perish,
But the man who hears him will speak endlessly.

29 A wicked man hardens his face,
But as for the upright, he [x]establishes his way.

30 There is no wisdom or understanding
Or counsel against the Lord.

31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But deliverance is of the Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 19:7 Lit. are not
  2. Proverbs 19:8 Lit. heart
  3. Proverbs 19:13 Irritation
  4. Proverbs 19:16 Is reckless, lit. despises
  5. Proverbs 19:18 Lit. to put him to death; a Jewish tradition on his crying
  6. Proverbs 19:22 Lit. lovingkindness
  7. Proverbs 19:24 LXX, Syr. bosom; Tg., Vg. armpit
  8. Proverbs 19:28 Lit. witness of Belial, worthless witness
  9. Proverbs 20:2 Lit. fear or terror, produced by the king’s wrath
  10. Proverbs 20:6 Lit. mercy
  11. Proverbs 20:14 Lit. evil, evil
  12. Proverbs 20:22 repay
  13. Proverbs 20:27 Lit. rooms of the belly
  14. Proverbs 20:28 mercy
  15. Proverbs 20:30 Lit. rooms of the belly
  16. Proverbs 21:1 channels
  17. Proverbs 21:4 Or lamp
  18. Proverbs 21:6 LXX Pursue vanity on the snares of death; Vg. Is vain and foolish, and shall stumble on the snares of death; Tg. They shall be destroyed, and they shall fall who seek death
  19. Proverbs 21:7 Lit. drag them away
  20. Proverbs 21:8 Or The way of a man is perverse and strange;
  21. Proverbs 21:14 Under cover, lit. in the bosom
  22. Proverbs 21:19 Lit. in the land of the desert
  23. Proverbs 21:22 Climbs over the walls of
  24. Proverbs 21:29 Qr., LXX understands

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