Proverbs 14

Proverbs 14 has Solomon continuing to contrast between two traits.  In this chapter, he speaks much about fools and the wise.  The outcome of their lives couldn’t be more different.  But let’s start with a comparison that is foundational.  “Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord, but he who is devious in his ways despises him”.  How we view God and our relationship with Him is paramount to how we choose to live and the decisions we make. If we understand who God is – the Creator and Controller of the Universe – we will fear Him and put Him in His rightful place as King of All.

Unfortunately, we often forget that reality and begin to push God off to the side and put self on the throne.  That would be one way I would define what a fool looks like.  When we put confidence in ourselves over the One who truly IS, we are walking down the path the wrong way.  We begin to believe that we are somehow in charge and determining what the outcome of life is.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  We must not allow the fear of the Lord to move out of our sight.  “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life that one may turn away from the snares of death”.

That fear – a healthy understanding of who God is and how big He is compared to who we are and our role in His world – is truly the fountain of life.  That fear is the grounding that keeps us on the straight and narrow.  That fear is the driver of our decisions about right and wrong, good and evil, and it determines the choices we make and the decisions we reach.  The fear of the Lord is life.  If we begin to put trust in ourselves and what we come to believe we control and can do, we’re on a slippery slope that will cause us to slide away from God and into sin.

Solomon paints the picture this way.  “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief”.  God gave us all minds with which we can think, and a will through which we make choices.  But like Adam and Eve demonstrated in the Garden, if we make those choices on our own, and even worse listening to the whisper of evil in our ear, we’ll choose poorly and forget the fear of the Lord.  And that choice yields one result – death!  Even when it seems to work out, the end will not be what we want.  We have to keep God on the throne and remember He is.  Fear of the Lord is key to us walking well with Christ!

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