Mar3WedMarch 3, 2021
The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. (Proverbs 15:33)
There are a series of important concepts that are born out of this little verse. First, When we see God for who He is, we see ourselves as we are. That is what comes from a healthy fear of the Lord. Confessions of our condition come most easily when we are compared to the Lord and then we understand our condition. Wisdom derives its most important lessons from the fear of God. He who fears God much, is well taught.
Second, When we see God for who He is and ourselves as we are, He shows us what He intends us to be. We are sinners that He has saved and we bear that testimony before men. Notice the accumulation of progress: first, we fear God, second we make a realistic diagnosis of ourselves.
Third, When we see what He intends us to be, He shows us what He intends us to do. This incredible honor to be an ambassador for Him does not come until we have humbly embraced our previous condition without Him and discovered that if anything worthwhile is going to be done in our lives, He must do it through us. True humility does not mean that I should be timid and inactive. True humility means that I am to be an instrument of righteousness in God’s hands. I can’t do that with my own “wisdom,” but when I give that wordly wisdom up then God can impart His wisdom to me and use me as necessary for His work. The key is to do what God requires of me and submit to His will. Those who are humble, and have an upright heart want to know God’s will in order to do it! They are not interested in knowing God’s will so they can decide, or debate it, but so they can do it immediately. These people receive grace and God can speak to them and use them mightily.
Let’s do one of my favorite things and reverse engineer this verse. Before honor is humility; before honor and humility is wisdom and instruction; before honor, humility, wisdom and instruction is the fear of the Lord. Don’t get that out of order.