Proverbs and the Christian

The book of Proverbs has much to say that can benefit the Christian. One of the principal themes of the book is our relationship to God. True wisdom is stressed as fellowship with God, and Solomon declares that the basis of this communion is the fear of the Lord.

Two questions arise. Why is there a need for the fear of the Lord? And, what is the value of the fear of the Lord?

To begin with, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom itself (Prov. 1:7). Again and again, we are reminded that unless a person has a proper respect(fear) of the Lord, he will not be receptive to the word of God. “Fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7b). Jesus warns us whom to fear in Luke 12:4-8; and it is not our fellow man, rather we are to fear God. A proper respect for God will cause us to carefully consider our ways.

Solomon gives us many reasons why this fear of the Lord is of great value. It prolongs life (10:27). His thesis is that by keeping us away from evil (16:6), thereby keeping us untouched by the evil (19:23), our lives can be prolonged. People often shorten their lives by their wickedness. There are several illnesses caused directly by wicked behavior. Often, emotional stress is brought on as a result of sin and guilt taking a toll on the body. But the one who heeds the word of God is spared from all this!

Fear of the Lord will increase the quality of life (22:4). It will give one a strong confidence (14:26a). Knowing you are led by the Lord leads to a life of poise and assurance, not despair. It gives one refuge in life’s turmoil (14:26b). It will make life an overflowing experience (14:27). Every day we can start afresh, knowing that in God we have forgiveness, joy, and peace. It will also help us to avoid the pitfalls that destroy so many (14:27b). Not only will we have “quantity of days” but “quality of life” as well.

Although contained in the book of Proverbs, all these principles were recognized by Christ and His apostles (Mt. 10:28; Acts 10:34,35; Phil. 2:12). We should recognize them as well.

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