(Prov 28:14 NLT) Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.
This morning we continue our “Unlocking the Power of Proverbs – Walking in the Wisdom of God” series. In this verse Solomon goes back to a reoccurring theme in scripture: the fear of the Lord. While this may be a theme in scripture, it does not seem to be mentioned much today. I just don’t hear a great deal about people fearing the Lord and fearing to do wrong in His sight. When you truly fear the Lord people will be able to see it, because it will show up in your actions. It’s one thing to claim to be a Christian with your lips, but it’s quite another to express your respect for the Lord with your actions. The Psalmist said, “How joyful are those who fear the LORD—all who follow His ways!” (Psalm 128:1). To follow the Lord’s “ways” you must be committed to living a life that is pleasing in His sight and you should be committed, out of the fear you have for the Lord. In a conversation with the religious leadership of the time, Jesus said, “You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote, ‘These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me’ ” (Matthew 15:7,8). Once again, anyone can claim to love God with their lips, but if you truly fear the Lord it will be evident with your life.
The word “fear” I keep using is not a reference to the emotion aroused by impending danger. That’s not it at all. The word fear, within the context of Solomon’s teaching, is a reverential awe or respect. Growing up I feared my mother. I had (and still do have) so much respect for her that I would not do anything to tarnish her great name. I can remember thinking, on countless occasions, when posed with opportunities to do wrong, “How is this going to reflect upon my mother?” And since I feared her, I chose to do right (at least most of the time). Now, this was not a type of fear where I was afraid of punishment. I simply respected my mother, her name, her character, and her reputation too much to do anything that would taint it. This is the type of fear Solomon is talking about in this text, and unfortunately, it’s rare today.
Young people today don’t seem to fear/respect anything and that is dangerous, because a lack of fear/respect will lead to foolish decisions. Those without the fear of the Lord, Solomon says, are stubborn and headed for serious trouble. When a person does not fear the Lord, or their parents, or anyone else, they make stubborn, selfish, self-centered, and foolish decisions that land them into deep trouble. However, by fearing the Lord, and your parents – with a reverential fear – you actually give the Godly instructions you have received more weight than the lure of the temptations to do wrong.
So what does this mean to you today? It means that your actions are sending a message. They either say, “I fear my Lord, I respect Him enough to walk upright before Him and man, and I refuse to do anything that will dishonor, disrespect, or defame Him!” Or they say, “I am my own man, I do my own thing, I live my life my own way, and I have no regard for God or anyone else.” Like with anything else, the choice is yours, but just remember, you will reap the harvest of whatever you decide.
Closing Confession: Father, I declare right now, with a clear conscious and clean hands, that I will fear You all the days of my life. I revere and respect You with my whole heart. I know You are righteous in all Your ways. I know Your name is righteous and pure. I know Your ways are upright and true. You are my God and I worship You. But I don’t just do it with my lips. I honor You with my life. When faced with multiple options, I give more weight to Your Word and ways. By doing so I am able to make decisions that line up with Your plans and purposes for my life. I walk in integrity, honor, virtue, righteousness, truth, and peace. I remember who I am and whose I am before making decisions. I fear You and those You have blessed to be in positions of authority in my life and that healthy fear helps keep me on the path to Your best. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper!