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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Fear of the Lord or A Path Leading to Death

The Proverbs are written to endow us with caution. (Proverbs 1:4) Caution is needed if something we might do will result in loss, destruction, or death to ourselves or those around us. Unfortunately, we face a twofold danger.
 There can be a way which seems right to a person, but at its end are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25)
There are paths that we might take that seem perfectly right and safe to us, but end in loss, destruction, or death. We might take one of those paths because we don't think about the possible consequences. We might take it after serious research, study, and analysis that fails to seed the true end of the path.

A second danger is that we have an enemy who is setting traps and snares to cause us loss, destruction, and death.
For in vain is the net baited if any bird can see it. (Proverbs 1:17)
So there are some paths that seem right, but end in death because the enemy has made the path appear to be right and has hidden the net.

The first thing Proverbs says to endow us with caution is this:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (Proverbs 1:7)
The way, the only way, to avoid the paths that lead to death is to seek for and follow God's guidance. This is fear of the Lord: endowed with the knowledge that there are paths that lead to death and the only way to avoid them is by submitting to follow the path God has for us.

The Proverbs are all about paths that lead to death and those that lead to life. It is filled with descriptions of paths to avoid and ones to take.
Those who pay attention to me will live securely, untroubled by fear of misfortune. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him; then he will direct your paths. Don't be conceited about your own wisdom; but fear the Lord, and turn from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7)
The aimless wandering of the thoughtless will kill them, and the smug overconfidence of fools will destroy them; but hose who pay attention to me will live securely, untroubled by fear of misfortune. (Proverbs 1:32-33)
You will walk your way securely, without hurting your foot. (Proverbs 3:23)
Listen, my son, receive what I say, and the years of your life will be many. I'm directing you on the way of wisdom, guiding you in paths of uprightness; when you walk, your step won't be hindered; and if you run, you won't stumble. Hold fast to discipline, don't let it go; guard it, for it is your life. Don't follow the path of the wicked or walk on the way of evildoers. Avoid it, don't go on it, turn away from it, and pass on.(Proverbs 4:10-15)
There is a time coming where the whirlwinds of destruction will swirl around us. If we have fear of the Lord and follow God's guidance on the path of his direction we will live. If not, we will not live. The time to chose fear of the Lord, to pray for it, to cry out for it, to seek it above all other things is now. If we wait until the whirlwind appears it will be too late. Not choosing fear of the Lord now is the first step down a path that leads to death.