Focal Passages: Proverbs 1:33; 2:5-12, 16, 20-22; 3:1-8
How we respond to someone’s commands has everything to do with his or her level of authority in our lives. More than 30 years ago Southern Baptists began to take a formal stand on the inerrancy of the Bible and prevailed by the grace of God. However, belief in biblical inerrancy means little without an equally firm stand on biblical authority. In Proverbs 2:5 Solomon told his son that the pursuit of wisdom would bring the fear of the Lord and the knowledge of God.
We cannot know God apart from His Word, but we will never take heed to His Word unless we fear Him. While “fear” refers to our need to stand before God with reverence and awe, it does not remove our need to live in dread of His judgment.
The writer of Hebrews warned, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (10:31), and that we must serve Him “with reverence and awe for our God is a consuming fire” (12:28-29).
In Proverbs 2:8-9 Solomon explained that God guards the paths of justice and allows His people to “understand righteousness, justice, and integrity – every good path.”
Consequently, true justice flows from the fear of the Lord, yet many proponents of Protestant liberalism cry out for social justice and say little or nothing about the fear of the Lord.
The wisdom that Solomon prescribes in this chapter allows us to understand that someone may campaign merely for an understanding of fairness that embraces socialism instead of the fear of the Lord that leads to eternal life through Christ.
Before Solomon penned the famous words of Proverbs 3:5-6, he exhorted his son to not forget loyalty and faithfulness. He told him to tie them around his neck and write them on the tablet of his heart (3:3).
To maintain these marks of wisdom we must do more than own a copy of the Word of God; we must possess it by hiding it in our hearts so that we will not sin against God (Psalms 119:11).