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A Proverb a day keeps sin at bay

February 4, 2012

”The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge’ Proverbs 1

The book of Proverbs is a book written to enable us to live right (Proverbs 1:3). They are reflections, wisdom and knowledge from God to enable us to live right. They are not promises that we can appeal to or blame God for when life is not going right. The other wisdom literature in the old testament (in particular Job) prevents us from using proverbs in this way. However they cannot be dismissed as simply ideals, they are proverbs that as we prayerfully reflect upon will enable us to live right by giving us knowledge, wisdom, prudence, discretion and ultimately guidance in the paths we should take. Therefore I may not believe that an apple a day keeps the doctor away but I do believe that ‘A Proverb a day keeps sin away.’Image

The Proverb I lay before you today is the pivotal Proverb on which all the others follow. For all knowledge, wisdom, understanding and guidance on how to live right we must begin with the fear of the Lord. It is not just a belief in God but a belief in a personal God who is our creator and for whom we were created. Our lives only make sense in relationship to God and so how we live our lives must be affected and determined by that relationship. Our lives are a precious gift and cannot just be thrown away without any relation or connection with God.

As Christians today we often want to distance ourselves from portraying a God who is to be feared. However if we believe in a personal God who is directly involved with humans and his creation it will produce in us affections of fear when we understand this personal being is a creator God, a God of immense power, of utter holiness and a God who is spirit. When we believe this it will also effect our behaviour as we live in relation to this God and we will want knowledge and wisdom of how to live right.

But as the proverb says the fear of the Lord is just the beginning of wisdom. Because as we begin to see that we do not live independent lives from God and as we get to know this God we see in Jesus that this God is a God of love, a God who is for us and who loves us and we are moved on from the affection of fear to the affection of love. As the apostle John tells us about the love of Jesus – ‘;There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.’ 1 John 4:18.

However this stronger affection of love, that ultimately transforms us when fear fails has the same consequence in that drives us with a far stronger determination to live right, as Jesus says ‘anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.’ John 14:23

So whether from fear as a beginning or from love as the end let us seek to live right in relation to God, let us keep away from not living right (sin) and therefore let us take it upon us to learn a proverb a day that we may keep sin at bay! Unfortunately I will only help you weekly if you follow my blog but the rest is up to you.

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