PROVERBS 1:7 - Berean Lamp Memory Verse - (May 22-29)

Posted by Nathan Warner on

The Berean Lamp Memory Verse for this week is:

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).

We are told in Scripture to fear God and yet at the same time, we are told to not fear Him. Is this a contradiction? No, for there is no contradiction in God's Word. Much of the confusion comes from the Hebrew and Greek meaning behind the word "fear."

"Phobes" in the Greek is a good word for fear to start with because it means "to flee or withdraw" from God, either because of a terror of punishment and harm, or, in contrast, because we sense our own inadequacy in His presence. Those are two very different meanings.

On the one hand, the wicked should fear God and "shrink back" from His righteousness judgement, which demands justice for their evil deeds. And when wicked men are confronted by God's presence, they hate his presence and will not come to Him for fear of His judgement for their evil deeds. This is to fear God as a threat to you - you are an enemy of God. Unfortunately, man often loses his fear of God's judgment when his sin goes unpunished (due to the patience of God) and he continues to commit evil without the fear of God's judgment.

On the other hand, every single prophet who was in God's presence "feared the Lord," because they knew they should not be there! They were painfully aware of their sinful inadequacy in the presence of a Holy God and it was excruciating! Some fell on their faces as if they were dead, recognizing that the fleshly desires of their sin nature deserved judgment! To obtain Salvation from God's judgment, we must start with this kind of "fear of God," which is a heart-understanding of our sinful inadequacy and of God's sufficiency. This sense to "withdraw" from His holiness is an understanding or confession in the heart that we are not worthy and cannot measure up. When we come to this "fear of the Lord," something wonderful happens. God does not turn us away, nor hasten our retreat; instead, He welcomes us into His sufficiency. We can take refuge from our inadequacy in His sufficiency! He will accept us, if we confess the truth of our inadequacy and get reconciled with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in our place of judgment - so making peace and covering our insufficiency with His sufficiency in the presence of God.

Those who "fear God" in this way are all the Believers who recognize they cannot save themselves because they are wholly insufficient without Christ's gift of His substitution of Himself in our place of judgment. We all feel that sense of inadequacy in our relationship with God, but we press forward into Him, because Christ has covered our inadequacy by His sacrifice and His love. We are now accepted in God's presence, not because of ourselves, but because of Jesus. We have no more fear of judgment, but we have a deep "fear of the Lord" that always recognizes our inadequacy and His mercy and love. "We are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39). Let's look more at the "Fear of the Lord" in our Devotional this Friday.

May we acknowledge to God and to the world the sinful inadequacy of our flesh and His sufficiency in his holiness and righteousness. May all the peoples of the Earth "fear" the Lord - either because of His righteous judgement against evil or because they recognize their sinful, fallen flesh in the presence of His holiness, and cling to Him as their refuge. Even so, Amen.

 

Other verses to consider:

FEAR OF RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT THAT SHOULD CAUSE THE WICKED TO FLEE

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” (1 John 4:18).

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

“Moses said to him, “As soon as I go out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease and there will be hail no longer, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.” (Now the flax and the barley were ruined, for the barley was in the ear and the flax was in bud” (Exodus 9:29-31).

“You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God’s. The case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it” (Deuteronomy 1:17).

“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God” (John 3:19-21).

“Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged before You. Put them in fear, O Lord; Let the nations know that they are but men. Selah” (Psalm 9:19-20).

“They devise injustices, saying, ‘We are ready with a well-conceived plot’; For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep. But God will shoot at them with an arrow; Suddenly they will be wounded. So they will make him stumble; Their own tongue is against them; All who see them will shake the head. Then all men will fear, and they will declare the work of God, and will consider what He has done. The righteous man will be glad in the Lord and will take refuge in Him; And all the upright in heart will glory” (Psalm 64:6-10).

“You, even You, are to be feared; And who may stand in Your presence when once You are angry? You caused judgment to be heard from heaven; The earth feared and was still” (Psalm 76:7-8).

“He will cut off the spirit of princes; He is feared by the kings of the earth” (Psalm 76:12).

“As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years, yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away. Who understands the power of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:10-12).

“You have removed all the wicked of the earth like dross; Therefore I love Your testimonies. My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments” (Psalm 119:119-120).

“Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart; There is no fear of God before his eyes” (Psalm 36:1).

“There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:18).

“Abraham said, ‘Because I thought, surely there is no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife’” (Genesis 20:11).

“But it will not be well for the evil man and he will not lengthen his days like a shadow, because he does not fear God” (Ecclesiastes 8:13).

“Saying, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man’” (Luke 18:2).

 

FEAR THAT CONFESSES THE HOLINESS OF GOD AND FINDS A REFUGE IN HIM

“Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose” (Psalm 25:12).

“You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield” (Psalm 115:11).

“Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His lovingkindness” (Psalm 33:18).

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them” (Psalm 34:7).

“But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live” (Exodus 1:17).

“The one among the servants of Pharaoh who feared the word of the Lord made his servants and his livestock flee into the houses” (Exodus 9:20).

“Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens” (Exodus 18:21).

“Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin’” (Exodus 20:20).

“You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name” (Deuteronomy 10:20).

“Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel” (Deuteronomy 17:18-20).

“But truly we have done this out of concern, for a reason, saying, ‘In time to come your sons may say to our sons, “What have you to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? For the Lord has made the Jordan a border between us and you, you sons of Reuben and sons of Gad; you have no portion in the Lord.” So your sons may make our sons stop fearing the Lord’” (Joshua 22:24-25).

“For the Mighty One has done great things for me; And holy is His name. And His mercy is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him. He has done mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart” (Luke 1:49-51).

“The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother. Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, ‘A great prophet has arisen among us!’ and, ‘God has visited His people!’ This report concerning Him went out all over Judea and in all the surrounding district” (Luke 7:15-17).

“‘But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:38-39).

“The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:9).

“The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant” (Psalm 25:14).

“Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him” (Psalm 33:8).

“For the Lord Most High is to be feared, A great King over all the earth” (Psalm 47:2).

“You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah” (Psalm 60:4).

“For who in the skies is comparable to the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty is like the Lord, a God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all those who are around Him? O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You” (Psalm 89:6-9).

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him” (Psalm 103:11).

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust” (Psalm 103:12-14).

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever” (Psalm 111:10).

“If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope” (Psalm 130:3-5).

“The Lord favors those who fear Him, those who wait for His lovingkindness” (Psalm 147:11).

“Now then let the fear of the Lord be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Lord our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe” (2 Chronicles 19:7).

“The Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.’ Then Satan answered the Lord, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land’” (Job 1:8-10).

“Is not your fear of God your confidence, And the integrity of your ways your hope?” (Job 4:6)

“We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him” (John 9:31).

Tags: holiness, wisdom, sin, fear, purity, inadequate, fear of the lord, flesh, fear of god, wicked, sufficiency, withdraw, flee, fear of judgement

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