Proverbs: The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning

A Study of the Book of Proverbs
By: Pastor Paul Campbell

 

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning

Proverbs 1:7a

Introduction:  The words “fear of the Lord” are found 30 times in the Bible, 14 of them in Proverbs – that’s almost half of the times the phrase is used in the entire Bible.  Thus, we could conclude that “the fear of the Lord” is paramount to the interpretation of the book of Proverbs.

By the term “fear of the Lord” is meant an awe of His authority.  As we would say, “We are in awe” of someone’s ability, their strength, their intelligence, etc.  The reason the word “fear” is used is because to truly recognize the power of God we would, of necessity, be afraid, terrified, of Him.  Awe, or reverence, comes from recognizing Who He is.

We will look at the references in the book of Proverbs on the “fear of the Lord” in this lesson for I think we’ll find that all the others in the Bible are found in those described in Proverbs.


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Book of Proverbs- Introduction

A Study of the Book of Proverbs
By: Pastor Paul Campbell

 

Introduction to the Book 

Proverbs 1:1-6; Ecclesiastes 12:8-14

What does the word “proverb” mean?  As one author said it “is a short sentence drawn from long experience” (Willmington’s Guide to the Bible).  One dictionary definition of the word “proverb” is “a short, pithy saying in frequent and widespread use that expresses a basic truth or practical precept.”  Another dictionary says it is “a pithy saying, especially one condensing the wisdom of experience.”  The first synonym for the word “proverb” in the dictionary is “maxim” which means “a succinct formulation of a fundamental principle, general truth, or rule of conduct.”

The word for proverb from the Hebrew is a little more involved than what our English word for “proverb” would denote.  It includes also the fable, the riddle, the satire, and the parable.

Holman’s Bible Dictionary says this about “proverbs”:  Proverbs generally operate on the principle that consequences follow acts: you reap.   what you sow. In a fallen world, however, God’s justice is sometimes delayed. The “better—than” proverbs in particular show the disorder of the present world, the “exceptions to the rule.” The righteous thus works and prays, like the psalmist, for the day when God will make all things right.

So, we can determine by defining the word “proverb” that this book in our Bible called “The Proverbs” is a book that is to teach us, by short sentences, a very important truth.  It will do this by several different methods, but all of them will be vital for our view of the world and our place as a “wisdom-seeker” in it.

Although the book of Proverbs was given in the Old Testament it is still so very important for New Testament believers.  It’s much like the Psalms in that it is a book without time-honoring hindrances.  It is a timeless book.

A great introduction to the book of Proverbs is the last seven (7) verses of the Book of Ecclesiastes.  Although Proverbs is before Ecclesiastes in our Bible the book of Ecclesiastes was written first, as most theologians and historians assert.  As such, these verses serve as a great introduction.

In this particular lesson we will look at who wrote the book, to whom the book was written, and the reason the book was written.  All of these answers are found in the first six (6) verses.


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