I used to be one of those people who would write down resolutions at the beginning of the year. I would write down the things I desired, and so badly wanted to happen. I would write them down then pray and hope that they’d come to pass, even if some of them were self-fishand self-centered. Ultimately, at that time I desired to be wiser than the “old me”…than the “last year me”. I desired to avoid the mistakes I had made the previous year. I desired to be better. The funny thing about self-betterment is that it doesn’t entirely work. It’s only when people desire God and His ways that they are able to live wisely and with understanding. This means that we are able to make the choices that will glorify God.
HOW CAN YOU BE WISER AND HAVE UNDERSTANDING?
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One isunderstanding.”- Proverbs 9:10
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FEAR THE LORD?
All over the Bible we read about the fear of the LORD. Some people immediately think of the Old Testament and God’s wrath against sin. Some think of His commands and the rewards for obedience and the curses for disobedience. And sometimes we hear people say “fear the LORD” and you go “amen, I will” but what does it really mean to fear God? What I’ve learned about the fear of God is that it is an issue of the heart. HOW SO? Commonly, we think of fear as an outward expression driven by adrenaline 1 involving flight or fight or both. Ordinarily, fear causes men to cower. For instance, being chased by two large German shepherds can be absolutely terrifying causing you to run, hide and run some more. However, the fear of the LORD should not be driven by the adrenaline 1 of the seasons of life and the urge to please people. Nor should it be driven by cowardice. 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” [NOTE: This applies to those who are abiding in God.]
The fear of God is a fear that involves lowliness and humility. Lowliness is the knowledge of self-nothingness. James 4:14 “…What is your life? You are a mist (vapor) that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Whilst meekness is obedience to God’s will. Philippians 2:8 “…He [Jesus Christ] humbled himself by becoming obedient to death -even death on a cross!” The fear of the LORD [Yahweh] is done in the knowledge of His power, grace, holiness, justice, mercy, judgment, love, and all that HE is. For God cannot be approached without such a fear. The fear of God is living in light of the fact that HE IS EVERYTHING and I am NOTHING without GOD. Thus, in lowliness and meekness we ought to fear God knowing that His grace and mercy on that cross through Christ is what keeps His people from His wrath. The fear of the Lord acts as a preservative to those who have believed (Rom 11:18-21). When we fear God we will obey His precepts and statutes thus attain wisdom.
WHAT IS UNDERSTANDING?
“…knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”- Proverbs 9:10
Job 28:28 “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.”
When we know God, His holiness, power, wrath, justice, mercy, love, and sovereignty and His attributes we will tremble and with a contrite heart turn away from evil. Joseph said inGenesis 39:9 “…how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” With knowledge of the Holy One [God] we stand with Joseph and say “how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” because we know that God is righteous and holy, and He will punish all sin which is rebellion against Him. Thus, in lowliness and meekness one repents and believes the gospel. This is true biblical understanding.
Adrenaline 1– A substance that is released in the body of a person who is feeling a strong emotion (such as excitement, anger, or fear) and the person experiences a faster heart beat and more energy.