Victoria Fellowship Church (VFC)
International and Interdenominational
House Fellowship for week commencing 10th January 2016
Quarter Theme: The Book of Proverbs: Gems of Wisdom
Topic: Wisdom: The fear of God
Texts: Prov. 1:7, 20-23; 14: 26-27
Memory Verse: Proverb 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (NIV)
The book of Proverbs remains the best place in the scriptures to learn the nuggets of wisdom. The author, Solomon, is known as the wisest man that has lived on the face of the earth. Proverbs 1:7, where we took our memory verse, speaks of both biblical knowledge and wisdom: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” To fear the Lord is to start on the path to knowledge, and God can then begin to provide us with wisdom through Christ, who the Bible says is wisdom itself: “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30).
Knowledge is what is gathered over time through study of the Scriptures. It can be said that wisdom, in turn, acts properly upon that knowledge. Wisdom is the fitting application of knowledge. Knowledge understands the traffic light has turned red; wisdom applies the brakes. Knowledge sees the quicksand; wisdom walks around it. Knowledge memorizes the Ten Commandments; wisdom obeys them. Knowledge learns of God; wisdom loves Him. Wisdom is about a right understanding and a right application of the way things really are and should be. The fundamental fact about the way things really are is that God exists and is engaged with the creation. Therefore, Wisdom begins with a proper understanding of who God is and who we are not.
The fear of the Lord is repeated over three hundred times in the bible which indicates it is an important subject which every Christian must consider. The fear of God is an attitude of respect, a response of reverence and wonder. It is the only appropriate response to our Creator and Redeemer. It is the continual awareness that our loving heavenly Father is watching and evaluating everything we think, say, and do” (Matthew 12:36, Psalm 139:2) As Jesus told each of the seven churches in the book of Revelation- “I know your works.” Nothing escapes His attention. A healthy fear of God includes the fear of the consequences of disobedience. There may be times of temptation or trial when we may forget some of the better reasons for obeying God, and that is when we had better think of the consequences (Exodus 20:20).This is what Hebrews 10:26-31 tells us: “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
In summary, the fear of God is foundational to true wisdom. All other types of learning are worthless unless built upon a knowledge of the Lord Himself. According to Prov 1;7, a wise person fears/reverences/obeys the Lord; a fool despises God’s instruction and cannot be told what to do. The wise person is wise because he has started at the starting place; the fool has no foundation on which to build wisdom. Without the fear of the Lord, we make final decisions based on our faulty human understanding
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
1. 1 King 3: 16-28 describes how Solomon’s resolved, with wisdom, the confusion between two women. How can we develop such wisdom in unclear decisions that affect us and others?
2. Do you think there is a reduced fear of God amongst 21st century Christians? How can we live with a healthy dose of the fear of God?
3. From the study, can you explain how the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom? Share other lessons you learnt.