As I was reading through the book of Proverbs noticing the references to God my attention was drawn to the theme of concern for how our lives would be thought of by the Lord. One of the expressions was “the fear of the Lord” and the other was the things that are an “abomination to the Lord.”
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
This is in the context of the purpose of the book of Proverbs and sets the tone of the wise life being one where a primary concern is how the Lord regards out life.
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
This verse refers to the simple, fools, and scorners who rejected Wisdom’s call. This is the reason that she would not be found where their calamity came on them.
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.
This is one of the son’s results of heeding the father’s counsel.
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.
This is in the context of wisdom’s prudence, discretion, counsel, sound wisdom, and understanding.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
This is mentioned in the context of instructing a wise man/giving instruction to a just man. These two will multiply days and years. The fear of the Lord is at the heart of wisdom and a long life.
The fear of the Lord prolongs days,
But the years of the wicked will be shortened.
This is part of a section of Proverbs that contrasts the deeds and destinies of the righteous and wicked. Here the fear of the Lord is a characteristic of the righteous.
In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence,
And His children will have a place of refuge.
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
To turn one away from the snares of death.
This section/chapter is focusing on a life lived in wisdom. Here the proverbs give two of the benefits of the fear of the Lord.
Better is a little with the fear of the Lord,
Than great treasure with trouble.
This is part of a group of proverbs that contrasts the cheerful, understanding, merry, love, wrath, and the upright with their opposites. The fear of the Lord is of much more value that temporal treasures.
The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom,
And before honor is humility.
This follows two proverbs about the benefits for one who heeds a rebuke. The fear of the Lord and humility are parts of what makes the rebuke effective.
In mercy and truth
Atonement is provided for iniquity;
And by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil.
The parallelism in this proverbs between mercy (compassion) and truth and the fear of the Lord is good meditation material. I can’t say that I have this one all figured out yet.
The fear of the Lord leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.
This proverb introduces a section that talks about fools and their punishment. The effects of the fear of the Lord on one’s life stands in stark contrast to the consequences of a fool’s disregard for the Lord. The awareness of the Lord prompts us toward the character that leads to eternal life.
By humility and the fear of the Lord
Are riches and honor and life.
This comes from a section of proverbs about wealth and moral instruction. It is between two proverbs that talk about prudence and foreseeing and avoiding evil. It is another proverb that emphasized the positive effects of the fear of the Lord.
Do not let your heart envy sinners,
But be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day;
18 For surely there is a hereafter,
And your hope will not be cut off.
This is # 15 of the 30 sayings of the wise. This admonition reminds me of Hebrews 11.24-25
Another theme that is closely related to the fear of the Lord are the things that are an abomination to the Lord. The items specifically mentioned in are interesting.
--Perversity is mentioned twice and pride twice.
--Three references to lying and three to dishonest scales.
--The wicked are referenced six times—their heart, thoughts, way, sacrifices and those who justify them.
--Hands that shed innocent blood and feet that are swift in running to evil are too be expected, but also one who sows discord and even the person who prayer of one who turns away his ear from hearing the law,
For the perverse person is an abomination to the Lord,
But His secret counsel is with the upright.
These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.
Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight.
Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord,
But the blameless in their ways are His delight.
Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
But those who deal truthfully are His delight.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
But He loves him who follows righteousness.
The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord,
But the words of the pure are pleasant.
Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
Though they join forces, none will go unpunished.
He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just,
Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.
Diverse weights and diverse measures,
They are both alike, an abomination to the Lord.
Diverse weights are an abomination to the Lord,
And dishonest scales are not good.
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
How much more when he brings it with wicked intent!
One who turns away his ear from hearing the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination.