The Berean Expositor
Volume 9 - Page 94 of 138
Index | Zoom
The Fear of the Lord.
pp. 186 - 191
In our first paper we considered the important conclusion of the preface, which was,
"the fear of the Lord" was the "beginning of knowledge". So important is the lesson that
finds its centre in the "fear of the Lord", that the phrase occurs fourteen times in the
book. As may be expected, a progressive line of teaching is found connected with these
occurrences, and we propose giving that teaching a consideration in this article. First, let
us note the fourteen references and their arrangement.
The fear of the Lord.
A1 | 1: 7. The beginning of knowledge.
| 1: 29. Knowledge hated.
| 2: 5. Knowledge found.
B1 | 8: 13. Hate evil.
A1 | 9: 10. The beginning of wisdom.
| 10: 27. Great days.
| 14: 26. Strong confidence.
A2 | 14: 27. A fountain of life.
| 15: 16. Contentment with little.
| 15: 33. Discipline of wisdom.
B2 | 16: 6. Depart from evil.
A2 | 19: 23. Tendeth to life.
| 22: 4. Riches, honour and life
| 23: 17. All the day long.
These proverbs are spiritual, and are to be understood by those who fear the Lord.
The very beginning of knowledge is given as the fear of the Lord; a wisdom and a
discipline that fools despise; this elementary truth is enlarged upon in verse 29, and in
2: 5, before the next great item of teaching is given (see structure). Wisdom has cried,
warning of the awful effects of loving simplicity and hating knowledge (1: 20-28), then
comes the conclusion:--
"Forasmuch as they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord; they
would none of my counsel; they despised all my reproof, therefore shall they eat the fruit
of their own way, and be filled with their own desires, for the turning away of the simple
shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them."
"They did not choose". What issues hang upon a right choice! The Psalmist said, "I
have chosen the way of truth" (Psa. 119: 30); may this choice be ours. Those who turn
away from wisdom are slain by their own choice, "they lay wait for their own blood, they
lurk privily for their own lives" (1: 18).
Chapter 2: opens with a sharp contrast: here, the fear of the Lord is not merely given
as the beginning of knowledge, but the one who has this is instructed how he may
"discern" the fear of the Lord, and "find" the knowledge of God. Look how specific the
instructions are, seek it like men seek for wealth, and you must find it--find, simply