Fear in the new year?

Welcome to church and to 2018!

We are kicking off the year with a look at the Old Testament book of Proverbs which is all about wisdom.

Surprisingly though, the key to wisdom and knowledge is fear.

The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and discipline.
— Proverbs 1:7

This idea of wisdom coming from a fear of the Lord shows up 14 times in the book in key places which tie the book together.

Now, when the bible talks about fearing God - its is much richer than our ideas of trembling and terror. In Deuteronomy, fearing God is shown to be the same as loving and obeying God, walking in his ways. In fact, this phrase is always used in the context of God being the redeeming, rescuing saviour. Far from trembling in terror, the 'Fear of the Lord' is loving reverence and grateful respect of the mighty God who lovingly saves us.

And this fear is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom. How is it the beginning? One writer puts it like this, 

“In the search for wisdom, fearing the Lord involves both the starting point of the journey and the foundation, or ground, on which a life of wisdom is built.”

So to start a life of wisdom we commit to God and his plans, then as we obey and love him we continue to journey through life growing in the wisdom he gives.

So don't be scared - but consider if your wisdom begins and is built on the foundation of your loving respectful gratitude to the God who saves.

Murray Colville