One of my favorite Bible books is Proverbs. You too? Tells us how to live for God. Wish I could say that I’ve lived up to it all. I can say it, but still doesn’t make it true! Is there a central truth in Proverbs? A pivotal point? Yes. Proverbs 1:7–‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…’
The fear of the Lord? Did you say fear? Like cringing in the presence of the meanest person you’ve ever known? We know that’s not what these verses mean. ‘Fear’ is to respect and honor, to trust in. The word ‘fear’ in Hebrew is ‘yirah’, which is feminine meaning a positive quality of being submissive to someone greater, in whom we can have confidence.
Of course, there is the connotation of God’s judgement upon those who spurn Him, wanting nothing to do with Him. Lots to fear for those people. But that’s not us, especially if you’re reading this to get closer to the Lord. Fear is not of the Big Guy with the Big Club in His terrible Hand, but of the One who made us and loves us and died for us. The One who deserves all our worship and adoration and…’fear’.
Solomon says in Proverbs, that that is where it all begins. ‘The beginning…’–the Hebrew word ‘raysheeth’. It means ‘first’, ‘primary’, ‘chief’, ‘the best’. The very first word written in our Bibles–‘in the beginning God created…'(Genesis 1:1).
Hey, I get it! This is what it’s all about. First-and-foremost. If we must focus on one verse in the Bible, this is a good one. I think of all the times I’ve wasted in my Christian life. Precious time. Blowing countless opportunities to serve the Lord. And I knew it. But did it anyway. So sad.
But now, with the clock ticking, I want the time that’s left to mean something… for the Lord. Help me, Lord…help all of us…to use our time wisely for You. Can’t go back and mop up all that spilt milk, but we can give Him the cream that’s rising to the top and be who we were created to be.
Get up…and live for Him. I think I know when I am living for Him… and when I’m not. So, get with it!. The fear and respect and love of the Lord…woven tightly into the fabric of the days and nights from now on. Spending time with Him…from now on!
Prayer: Lord, help me to live for You. To mean it and stop playing games. In Jesus’ name. Amen.