The Fear of God, part 4

11 Sep

The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

If you don’t fear God, you don’t have the beginning of wisdom.

If you don’t have the beginning of wisdom, what are you?

To put it bluntly, you are foolish.

Why?

I mean, why does Solomon say the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom? 

Three reasons.

One.

If you don’t fear God, you are being stupid because of who God is.

There’s a great line in Jeremiah.

As God’s talking to these people who claim to know Him but aren’t living like it.  He says in Jeremiah 5:20,21.

“Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but see not, who have ears but hear not. Do you not fear Me? Declares the Lord. Do you not tremble before me?”

It’s like God’s saying, what is going on? You don’t fear me. That’s foolish. That’s senseless. It’s like people who have eyes, but choosing to not use them. Or ears, and closing them.

I mean. 

It only makes sense to fear God.

You look at who God is. Creator. He made everything. King. The most important person in the universe. You look at what God’s like. Eternal. He’s been around forever. Holy.  Absolutely opposite to sin. Jealous. He actually cares about people doing right. And, all knowing and all powerful and we could go on and on. 

With God being God. 

It doesn’t make sense to not fear Him. 

Not fearing God is a little like, standing with this really smart guy, who knows a lot information and facts out in the bush, as you are watching a lion come right at him. And the lion is hungry and you are looking at this guy, and he’s not afraid.  He’s just reading a book or something. 

I don’t care how smart he is. That’s foolish. To not be afraid of a lion that is about to pounce on you, to eat you, is stupid. 

Or. 

I guess to be more biblical. 

Imagine, somehow, you were able to take a visit to hell with someone. 

And this is a place that’s designed for punishment. 

By God. 

And He’s pouring out His wrath on sinners, and we are talking about a God, who has no limits, who could tear this universe pieces in just a moment just by saying a word. We are talking about God who is so powerful, that if you took all the strength of all the men and angels in the universe and somehow combined their strength together, all that power is less than God has in his fingers.  This is a God who can as one man said, make men as miserable as he pleases. And in hell, that’s what He’s doing, He’s executing His justice. 

And imagine you are standing there, with someone. Watching these people who are imprisoned, eternally. Suffering. And, yet he’s not afraid. It’s doesn’t impact him. You would say, I don’t care how smart this man is in every other area of life, his lack of fear in this moment, shows me, he doesn’t really understand anything.

There’s something wrong with him. 

Which is one reason, we say, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. 

If you don’t fear God. 

That’s not a small fail.

Like, “I can be fine in every other area.”

No, you can’t. You miss the fear of God, you might as well, not understand anything, because of fear of God, it’s that fundamental. 

Two. 

Not fearing God is stupid is because of what happens when you don’t fear God. 

If you don’t fear God, you will fear something else.

This is how we were built.

You can’t help it.

You were made to be amazed by something. And what happens when you aren’t amazed by God, is that you end up being amazed by something much less than God, and honestly, usually it’s yourself or something else in creation. 

And so you start acting as if that created thing, were god, and start making that created thing, the most important thing in life, and in the end, that ends up making you, act like an idiot. 

If you want proof of that read Romans 1. 

Or, you know, you could just spend time with some grown men at a soccer game. 

These human beings made to worship God, instead, giving that worship, to some guy, running around in shorts. 

Three. 

It is stupid not to fear God because of how good the Bible says it is for you.

If you learn to fear God, it, literally, will change your life. 

Listen for example to Psalm 25:12. 

The Psalmist asks, “Who is the man who fears the Lord?” 

And check out what God promises. 

“Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.”

And I mean, instructed by God! 

 You ever face something and wish you had someone who was really good at this, here right now, to help you know what to do. What it would be like to have the most intelligent person in the world as your personal instructor as you go through life?

Imagine. 

You could run every decision by him.  

What is promised in Psalm 25:12 is even better than that. 

Because it’s not any human that’s your teacher. 

It’s God. 

If a person knows and fears God, this all wise, all knowing, “never make a mistake” and “never lacking in understanding” God will help that person to make wise choices.  

Which is why the Psalmist goes on and says, “Who is the man who fears the Lord? Him will He instruct in the way that he should choose. His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.” 

The person who fears God has soul prosperity. Which means what?  

It means. Peace. Contentment. Direction in life. Purpose. Stability. Joy. 

And, you know, he won’t have this for a little while. That’s the thing. The psalmist says, His soul shall abide in well-being. In other words, this is a permanent blessing. 

It’s not like prosperity occasionally pays a visit to the soul of someone who fears God man. It says the man who continuously fears God will have a continuous experience of soul prosperity. His experience of soul prosperity will not be an up and down, every now and then matter. As he rightly fears God, the kind of internal prosperity this verse is referring to will make its home, its dwelling place in his inner man.  

And it doesn’t only impact him.

It also impacts his family. 

You see how it says, His offspring shall inherit the land. 

One of the blessings of fearing God, is you don’t just bless yourself, you bless all the people who get close to you. If you spend time with a person who fears God, it’s good for you. Growing up in the family of someone who fears God is one of the biggest blessings a person can experience, and this is part of why, it just makes sense to fear God. 

You fear God and other things start falling into place because God’s your teacher. 

Your soul prospers. 

Your family is blessed. 

And. 

You know what? 

This is the best. 

You are God’s friend. 

He says towards the end. 

“The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear Him.” 

Which given who God is almost seems too much to hope for. But it’s not too much, because God promises this to those who fear Him. 

God treats them as friends and is pleased to let them know His very thoughts, concerns, desires and perspectives on Himself, the world, the problems and needs of people, and all kinds of other things that matter to Him.  

And honestly, I could go on. 

There’s just a lot of reasons the Bible says the fear of God is good for you. 

When we talk about being in awe of God and longing to honor Him and dreading offending Him, about your mind being filled with great thoughts of God, and your emotions responding to those truths, and your will, being transformed so you want to please God it’s not just another thing in life. 

Like, “oh I could focus on this or I could focus on that. I’ve got a lot to do. And, all these options are equal.” 

They are not equal!  

If you want to live life in a way that’s good for you, that is good for others, that is substantial, that makes an impact, that’s not a waste, this, learning to fear God, is not just one priority. It has to be the number one priority. 

Is it? 

Is it a priority for you? 

Do you fear God? 

Are you working everyday to become a person who fears God more? 

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