Bible Society of South Africa
Frank Retief

Remember his strength – Day 10

Fear of the Lord

Bible text(s)

Advice to Young People

7To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the LORD. Stupid people have no respect for wisdom and refuse to learn.

Proverbs 1:7GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Value of Proverbs

1The proverbs of Solomon, son of David and king of Israel.

2Here are proverbs that will help you to recognize wisdom and good advice, and understand sayings with deep meaning. 3They can teach you how to live intelligently and how to be honest, just, and fair. 4They can make an inexperienced person clever and teach young people how to be resourceful.

Proverbs 1:1-4GNBOpen in Bible reader

Many would agree that our world needs men and women of integrity and moral vigour as leaders. Some have called for a moral revolution and I suppose, it is not far off the mark to say that the whole world is sick and tired of corruption, dishonesty and the moral bankruptcy of our society. What is the answer?

According to the Bible, what we need is “wisdom”. Wisdom is the ability of know what to do, how to make right decisions and how to negotiate the pitfalls of life. In addition, accordingly to the Bible, there is an “anti-wisdom”. By that, I mean an alternative view of wisdom that sees life purely in worldly terms. Thus, men and women are able to exercise a sort of natural cunning, make a lot of money and build empires.

The Bible’s view of wisdom, however, is different. Its starting point is the FEAR OF THE LORD. The Old Testament used that language for the pious devout Hebrew who truly trusted in Israel’s God. In New Testament terms, it would mean to believe truly in the Lord Jesus Christ as God’s Son and Redeemer, and to live for him. That means that we take our starting point from him in all the affairs of life. We think of life differently. We place a value on things that “anti-wisdom” – ungodly wisdom – does not. We value discipline, insight, providence, justice, fairness, knowledge and discretion (Proverbs 1:1-4).

Our whole basis for living is different. However, notice that these things come into focus only when we “fear the Lord”. When we see him as the Lord of life and our hearts are captured by him, we value that which he values. We stop placing value on the things that the world values, because the world’s values are false and usually lead us away from the things that really matter.

Notice how the proverb ends: “Fools despise wisdom and knowledge”.

In Proverbs, the “fool” is often mentioned. This is not a reference to a stupid person or someone who is mentally challenged. Rather, in Proverbs, the fool is the man who is morally and spiritually deficient. He says in his heart that there is no God (Psalm 14:1). A fool is a person who is unteachable. No matter what you say to him, he will always think he is right. “The way of the fool seems right to him but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15)

Stay away from people who never take advice, but always believe that they are right in all things.

Remember that true wisdom comes from the fear of the Lord. Once our relationship with God is in place, all other things fall logically in order. Fear god and no one else.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.16
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