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  • Dr. Stieglitz

Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 14:27

"The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death"

fear of the Lord

The word fear is the Hebrew word yare which means fear, afraid, fearing. It is clear that while this phrase – the fear of the Lord – came to mean that one has a high level of respect and reverence for the Lord, it also means that one wants to stay on the good side of the Lord and not disappoint Him.

We have almost completely lost this understanding of God in our culture. Our understanding of God has become a wimpish grandfather who loves everyone and cannot or will not act. He just loves everyone and is doing the best He can. This is not who the God of the Bible actually is. Yes, He does love us, but He also has decreed consequences for our action. He keeps track of sin and, while giving ample room for repentance, will bring judgment.

If we are to listen to this proverb, we will recognize that there are actions that we can take to cause us to receive the blessing and grace of the Lord and there are actions and choices that we can make that cause us to receive the terror and severity of the Lord. There are consequences. God is not a grandfather in the sky that can be trifled with.

fountain of life

This is the Hebrew word maqor which means fountain. The land of Israel is an arid place where water is the key to everything. When Solomon refers to the fear of the Lord as a fountain of life, he is creating a word picture that would pop in the minds of his readers. The most valuable thing you could have on your property was a spring which bubbled up fresh, clear running water. To have a fountain of life made you a wealthy, secure, and prosperous man.

Solomon is saying when you live by the understanding that there are some things that you can do that God will bless and something that you can do that God will curse, it will begin to change your behavior so that actions that will bring God's blessing will bubble into your life. Can you see what Solomon is saying? To have this fundamental understanding about life will cause you to begin acting and choosing those things which are on God's good side.

Realize that today you will be faced with a number of choices and possible actions. If you have a real understanding that God is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, that God will not be mocked, and that whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap – this crucial understanding about the nature of life on this planet will become a constant source of blessing and treasure in your life because you will consistently choose those actions, behaviors, words, and motives that honor and please God.

Until tomorrow,

Gil Stieglitz

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