It’s Just the Beginning

Proverbs 1:7 NASB

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Are you a seeker of knowledge? Do you desire truth? Do you hope to gain understanding? Are you asking for wisdom? Then, you must walk in the fear of the Lord. You must revere him as the holy God that he is, show him honor, respect him, worship him, give him your praise, and obey him.

Then you will gain worthwhile knowledge and understanding and wisdom, and you will learn truth, and you will desire to follow after that truth, too.

But, those who are foolish, who are lacking in good sense and good judgment, and who are reckless and irresponsible, they will not desire true wisdom and wise instruction. Rather, they will despise what is good. And, they will go after what is bad because they think they know better than God.

Proverbs 1:10-19 NASB

My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;
Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;
We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;
Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”
My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,
For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.
Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;
But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.
So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
It takes away the life of its possessors.

Satan’s goal is to get everyone to follow him and to not follow God; to not believe in Jesus Christ and to not obey him. So, he will tempt us to sin against God, and he will use other humans to do his dirty work, too, so that they will entice us to do what is evil in God’s sight.

Therefore, we must be wise and discerning, which we become when truly we walk in the fear of the Lord and no longer according to our fleshly desires. But, if we are still following the ways of the world and of our flesh, then we won’t have the spiritual discernment we need to know when we are being tempted to do evil, for Satan is very subtle in the ways he tempts us.

In fact, Satan may even use scripture to try to convince us that it is ok for us to practice sin, now that we are under grace. He often uses scripture to try to convince us to do wrong, in fact, because he knows how to twist scripture to his advantage and to make it sound like it is saying something it is not, and he does this through pulling scripture verses out of context.

But, if we are walking in the fear of the Lord, we will have the mind of Christ, and we will have the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and we should sense when something doesn’t sound right. And, then we should have the good judgment to say “No” to the lies and deceptions and the manipulations of truth, and instead we should follow after what is right and good.

Truly those who do evil in God’s sight, and who use and abuse others for their own advantage, and who cheat others and steal what is not theirs, for their own financial gain or to gain some kind of power over others, they are signing their own death warrant. They may think they have conquered, and that they have won, but truly they have lost, for they have lost their own lives and the hope of any future inheritance with God.

Proverbs 1:20-33 NASB

Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
“How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
“Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
“Because I called and you refused,
I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention;
And you neglected all my counsel
And did not want my reproof;
I will also laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your dread comes,
When your dread comes like a storm
And your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
“Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently but they will not find me,
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord.
“They would not accept my counsel,
They spurned all my reproof.
“So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way
And be satiated with their own devices.
“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them.
“But he who listens to me shall live securely
And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

There are people who are naïve (immature or inexperienced or lacking in knowledge) due to no fault of their own. And, not all naivety is something to be ashamed of, either. For, it is those who have childlike faith in God who will see the kingdom of heaven. And, we should all be humble and innocent. And, it is good if we are not well experienced in the ways of the world.

Nonetheless, I believe the caution here is against those who have been given knowledge and understanding, and who could thus gain wisdom, if they wanted to, but who have chosen to act as though they are without knowledge. They want to remain immature because then they can use that immaturity to excuse away sinful behaviors, or they think they can.

But, wisdom is calling out to these who willfully choose to remain immature and to act as though they did not know, when they did know, but they chose not to act on the knowledge that they had. And, wisdom is God. And, he is saying, “Turn from your wicked ways, respond to my reproof, and follow the ways that are righteous and wise and discerning and pure.” And, he is saying that he will pour out his Spirit on you and he will make his words known to you so that you are not lacking in wisdom or in maturity.

Yet, so many people are ignoring his calls, and they are choosing to remain infantile and to keep sucking on whatever gives them pleasure at the moment, and then to excuse away their sins by saying they didn’t know.

And, so God is going to judge them for their refusal to repent and for their rejection of his counsel. And, he will not be compassionate towards them in their suffering, because they refused his reproof, and they stuck up their noses at God, and they decided to go their own stubborn way, instead.

They will reap what they have sown, just like they had been warned. But, hopefully what they reap will be in this life, and they will still have the opportunity to come to their knees and to repent of their sins so that they can find life in Christ Jesus. And, hopefully this takes place before they physically die or Jesus returns and no opportunities are left for them to believe, and thus they reap eternal destruction instead of eternal life.

Yet, for those who listen to the Lord, and who heed his counsel, and who walk in his wisdom and in the fear of the Lord, they will live with Christ eternally. They never have to fear death, for they know that the death of our fleshly bodies only means that we get to be with our Lord forever. Amen! Thus, we have no reason to fear evil or death, because our God is for us, and he will carry us through it all safely into his heavenly kingdom.

Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84

Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.

I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!

Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.

I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!

Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.

Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!

Friday, October 12, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for saving us from our sins and for giving us Your Spirit to counsel and guide us into all truth, so that we are not lacking in wisdom and knowledge of what is right and what is wrong, and in how to follow what is right and to reject the wrong, too.

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