By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4)
Our scripture today helps us appreciate the importance of exchanging our attitudes for God’s. The overwhelming theme in the Book of Proverbs is reverence for God. This reverential awe and admiring submissive fear is foundational for all spiritual knowledge and wisdom.
While the unbeliever may make statements about life and truth, he does not have true or ultimate knowledge until he is in a redemptive relationship of reverential awe with God.
The progression is interesting to note as Proverbs speaks of the fear of the Lord. First there is teaching about God, then learning about god, followed by fearing God and knowing God, and finally imitating God’s wisdom. The fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which one’s own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds and goals are exchanged for God’s.
How is this to be accomplished for us? Perhaps it would be more helpful to consider the purpose of Proverbs as it pertains to wisdom and understanding. To the Hebrew mind, wisdom was not knowledge alone but the skill of living a Godly life as God intended man to live. This refers to the discipline of moral nature, understanding. Thus word looks at the mental discipline which matures a person for spiritual discernment.
This is a huge concept and one which we, as Christians, strive for and try to understand as we proceed on our own spiritual journeys. Proverbs also engages in the proves of schooling a son in the disciplines of wisdom, discrete counsel, the ability to govern one’s self by choice, justice, the ability to conform to the will and standards of God’s practical righteousness and judgment, the application of true righteousness in dealing with others.
Are most of these not the same things that many of us were taught as we were growing up and that we not are teaching to children of our own? Wisdom, discipline, justice, righteousness – these are some of the cornerstones of our Christian faith and Proverbs, in the wisdom of the ages, is as practicable today as it was when it was written.
May we all learn to fear the Lord through humility and to honor life. May we seek wisdom throughout our journey as children of Go and continue to grow in justice, discipline and righteousness. Help us to learn and to teach and to lead our own children down the spiritual paths to help them too become your children. May we ever learn your word, O God, and practice it every day of our lives to the glory of your holy name.
References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur
To study this passage in more depth, you might like to read: Clark’s Commentary on the Bible.
Columbia Prayer Chain
Friday, May 4
In our prayers: Patrick and Patricia Barry, Debbie and Pat Barry, Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Joe Reno, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Mack James, Charles Davis Sr., Lee Hotaling, Elaine and Sharon, Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Bob and Karen, Alison Rafferty, Joye Cantrell, Patty and Ted, Fred and Gail,, Mary Miller, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters, Laura Bushnell, Edgar Maxwell, Laura Lou Rummans, Elizabeth Adams, Gene Awtrey, John Conde, Millie Husbands, Clyde Ireland, Sam King, Bob Whiteside, Chuck Witten, Raven Tarpley, Elizabeth, DuBose Tuller, Janice Ayoub
In memoriam: Estelle Wright Taylor, Roger “Denny” Brazell II, Terri Lynn Carver, Charles Spurgeon DeLoach, Helen F. Holland, Pamela Kirk Mellin, George Ralph Barnes, John Ed Beck, Rhette McClam Cannon, Ovalene McDonald, Mamie Lue Hudson
Our prayers are with: The elderly and those who care for them, all who volunteer, the homeless, the unemployed, all victims of abuse, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our deputies and police officers, and all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily.
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