ChristianBook.com had a sale on Bibles for Christmas so I got a few. I did not really get to view them all because I fell in love with one — the Proclamation Bible. It surprises me because it is an NIV variant ala the UK. I think the Brits did a better job with the “translation” than the Americans did and I have been enjoying reading it. I started with a program from ESV.org and read all of Proverbs. I used to love Proverbs but after 30 days intensively with it, I have begun to realize that this is a tough little gem.
My favorite line from the Old Testament is in the Proverbs and I was surprised to learn that it is the major “theme” of the Old Testament. It is also considered by the late Rev. Sproul as the general theme to the Bible as whole. So without further ado,
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despite wisdom and instruction.Proverbs Chapter 1 verse 7
Of course most people read “fear” and see terror and running for your life cuz He’s on the warpath or something equally ridiculous. That idea is impossible because our God is nothing but merciful. He is the good shepherd, the kind heart. It is important that we remember that. So how did this happen this misunderstanding of such a basic word?
The two heads of Fear
Well fear has two meanings. The first and the most common is the noun as “I fear John’s anger, ” where fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined does not matter, the person is scared of it.
The second the verb…TO FEAR or to have reverential awe of. So To Fear the Lord is not run in terror from a wrathful god, though of course He can be, it is to have reverence for his words and his advice like that which Solomon imparts in Proverbs.