My dear fellow Proverbs 31 woman in Progress!
In Proverbs 31, it is said that the woman who shall be praised is the one who fears the Lord. I then asked myself what it meant to me.
Why the fear of God is the main reason of praise for this woman, when she has accomplished so much in her life of wisdom?
The answer came to me instantly: it’s because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). The fear of the Lord is therefore the cause and the primary motivation of all her actions.
But how do we define the fear of the Lord in this context? It does not mean that we should be afraid of the Lord. It means that you should have reverence for the Lord, and be in awe before Him.
Let’s examine how we can fear the Lord, so that we can be women who are praised!
Fearing God for who He is
We must fear God because He is God. His Holiness, His power, His glory and His character immediately call for this reverence from men. We can examine this through some examples in the Bible:
- When the prophet Isaiah saw the Glory of the Lord, he said: “Woe is me! I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5)
- When the prophet Daniel also had a vision of th Glory of the Lord, he said: “Therefore I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words: and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. And, behold, a hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling” (Daniel 10:8-11)
- In the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John also experienced the vision of the Glory of the Lord. He said: “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead” (Revelation 1:17)
All these examples have something in common: the people who experienced the vision of the Glory of the Lord recognized immediately their state of sinners and that they couldn’t resist the Holiness of God.
If all these people who were prophets of God recognize all their sinful nature in front of the Lord, how much more should we, as simple women of faith, fear the Lord?
Fearing God through His works
Have you ever admired the beauty of mountains, the movement of the oceans, the beauty of the sky and the stars? Have you ever been in awe in front of the exquisite beauty of flowers, or the majesty of trees?
If you answer “yes” to this question, then you are like me, marveling at God’s Wisdom and supreme Intelligence through this wonders of creation, that no man’s creation ever reached.
We can learn to fear God by meditating on God’s creation with the Psalmist:
“When I considered thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which hast thou ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”(Psalms 8:3-4).
Fearing God through the reverence for His Word
Learning God’s commandments and applying them is a key part in growing in the fear of the Lord and in gaining wisdom. Indeed, reading the Scripture and getting to meditate on them is essential to know God’s will, to learn His ways.
The Lord Himself says that people should learn God’s commandments and statutes to know Him and fear Him:
“Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 31:12).
The Lord also gives similar instructions to the Kings of Israel (Deuteronomy 17:15-19). We can say that fear of the Lord cannot be separated from a deep knowledge of the Lord through His Word.
Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Word of God, in its educational function, can also chastise us in our sinful nature,our sinful patterns and behaviour. Solomon says in the Book of Proverbs:
“My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: for whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Proverbs 3:11-12).
Similarly, the Apostle Paul also recognizes the link between knowledge and correction in the Word of God:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Fearing God through our actions
Fearing God in our actions is the consequence of what we have learned in the Word of God. It’s not enough to learn and hear the Word of God: we should also fear the Lord by practicing it properly. Indeed, the Apostle James reminds us:
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: for he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was” (James 1: 22-24).
Another way to express the fear of the Lord through our actions is through the tithe. I know that tithing is a controversial topic in the Christian world; however, the Word of God explicitly refers to tithing as a way to fear the Lord, because you offer a kind of sacrifice to the Lord through this holy offering:
“Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. And thou shalt eat before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oïl, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always” (Deuteronomy 14: 22-23).
The Apostle Paul also refers to this Truth for those who are generous for the Lord:
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man accordig as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
King Solomon also reminds us, after a life made of wisdom (in the first part of his life) and of foolishness in his old years when he got far from the Lord because of his marriages with many heathen women, that the fear of the Lord is the only worthy goal of a lifetime:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Promises given for those who fear the Lord
Here are some promises that the Lord has given to those who fear Him:
- “The fear of the Lord prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened” (Proverbs 10:27)
- “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge” (Proverbs 14:26)
- “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7).
- “The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy” (Psalm 147:11).
- “He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them” (Psalm 145:19)
- “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor, and life” (Proverbs 22:4)
I will let you meditate on all these promises and I hope that they will encourage you to seek the face of the Lord and fear Him!
Fearing the Lord is not a constraint
Last but not least, fearing God should not be seen as an enslavement. God always gives you the choice because He created man as a free being. Indeed, let’s see what He says:
“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15).
Therefore, we should fear the Lord because we love Him and because we are afraid of God and His judgment.
Do you agree with this post? What are the ways to fear the Lord according to you?
Please share your point of view!
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