Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 15, 2017

“How blessed is the man who fears (the LORD) always”

Today’s devotion comes from Proverbs 28:1-14.

“The wicked flee when no one is pursuing,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.
2 By the transgression of a land many are its princes,
But by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.
3 A poor man who oppresses the lowly
Is like a driving rain which leaves no food.
4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
But those who keep the law strive with them.
5 Evil men do not understand justice,
But those who seek the Lord understand all things.
6 Better is the poor who walks in his integrity
Than he who is crooked though he be rich.
7 He who keeps the law is a discerning son,
But he who is a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.
8 He who increases his wealth by interest and usury
Gathers it for him who is gracious to the poor.
9 He who turns away his ear from listening to the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.
10 He who leads the upright astray in an evil way
Will himself fall into his own pit,
But the blameless will inherit good.
11 The rich man is wise in his own eyes,
But the poor who has understanding sees through him.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.
13 He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.
14 How blessed is the man who fears always,
But he who hardens his heart will fall into calamity.”  Proverbs 28:1-14.

——————

“How blessed is the man who fears (the LORD) always, …”  Verse 14.

“17 Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But live in the fear of the Lord always.
18 Surely there is a future,
And your hope will not be cut off.”  Proverbs 23:17-18.

Other doctrine wants more of a balance between a focus on god and a focus on man.

But, Reformed Doctrine always puts the fear of God in “the front and center” of its preaching and teaching. 

And, for good reason …

“The Lord favors those who fear Him,
Those who wait for His lovingkindness.”  Psalm 147:11.

“Oh let those who fear the Lord say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”  Psalm 118:4.

“You who fear the Lord, trust in the Lord;
He is their help and their shield.”  Psalm 115:11.

“8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord
Than to trust in princes.”  Psalm 118:8-9.

“Praise the Lord!
How blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who greatly delights in His commandments.
2 His descendants will be mighty on earth;
The generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
And his righteousness endures forever.  …

7 He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”  Psalm 112:1-3 and 7.

“How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
2 When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands,
You will be happy and it will be well with you.
3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
Within your house,
Your children like olive plants
Around your table.
4 Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.”  Psalm 128:1-4.

Scripture teaches us the fear of the LORD.

“11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who desires life
And loves length of days that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.”  Psalm 34:11-14.

“11 Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
12 I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart,
And will glorify Your name forever.
13 For Your lovingkindness toward me is great,
And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”  Psalm 86:11-13.

Other doctrine is content to show a god restrained by man’s alleged free-will.

But, Reformed Doctrine shows the Almighty God of Scripture Who accomplishes His will, such as when He parted the Red Sea, saving His chosen Israel but also destroying the Egyptians. 

And, we can then understand how preaching and teaching the great power of the LORD, unrestrained by the alleged free-will of man, leads to a fear of the LORD.

“Thus the Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.  When Israel saw the great power which the Lord had used against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in His servant Moses.”  Exodus 14:30-31.

“I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good;  and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me.”  Jeremiah 32:40.

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