Proverbs in 365 Devotions
Proverbs 14:26 In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence, and his children will have a refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death. 28 In a multitude of people is the glory of a king, but without people a prince is ruined.
Good Fear Brings Life And Confidence
What is the context that surrounds this kind of fear we should have toward the Lord?
Should we fear him like people fear a ruthless dictator? No. God is not like that. Like an abused child fears their father? No.
What about the child who has a good loving father? Do they fear their father in any way? Sure they do. As a child grows and their character changes there is potential for them to mature and take on attributes of their good loving father. Throughout that journey they are going to have times of disobedience, right? But when they are thinking about doing wrong, the fear a spanking from their father sometimes motivates them to choose obedience instead.
Solomon says that the children of a man who fears the LORD will have a refuge. I think that fear is building a safe perimeter in the middle of a dangerous jungle. This good kind of fear towards their father is drawing a map that highlights the traps and danger areas in this broken world.
So what is the difference in fearing a evil dictator and a good loving father? It may be that a child who knows their father loves them so much helps awaken them to the fact that his discipline is to turn them away from the pitfalls of troubled world. The LORD loves us much more than any earthly father ever could. And being all knowing, he knows exactly what is best for us more than any person has the ability to know. When he speaks, it is in love and for our good.
So I think that Gods commands in being for our good and given out of love… That is one of the big differences in fearing the LORD over fearing a ruthless dictator or a father who abuses his child.
Hebrews 12:6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
Solomon says in the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence. Confidence comes from God’s word backing us up. So that does not include us turning back to walk in disobedience… We have no confidence in our old default mission in life… seeking our own glory… looking for freedom and happiness by rebelling against God like a child that has contempt toward their earthly father. Our new mission is seeing and sharing the glory of our Father in heaven. That gives us joy… Solomon says fearing God in the right way is a fountain of life and thats where our confidence soars.
2nd Timothy 1:7 talks about this confidence and our new mission: for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Verse 8: Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord,…
Then he goes on to talk about this good news we are to share.
Finally in today's passage, verse 28 says: In a multitude of people is the glory of a king, but without people a prince is ruined.
Look, every ruthless dictator that rules out of a heart of disobedience towards God does not have a multitude of people who truly support him from the heart. He does not love them and they do not love their leader.
2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,