I had gone to bed after reading the horrible stories of local children killed in automobile accidents and one article about Christian children being martyred for their faith under the hands of Islamic terrorists. It was a chilling moment. I must admit that I was so tired that I really don't remember thinking of anything as my head hit the pillow. I was out like a light. As a young man I was taught to go to bed quoting scripture memory work. That is an excellent idea too. But this night I did not.
I have been teaching for years that a person's last thought in the evening will be taken up by the subconscious mind. The mind then continues to work on the matter while we sleep. I have heard testimonies of those who have done this and when they woke in the morning they understood the solution to the problem they were facing. Now I am not trying to tell you that this is some revelation from God. It is not. It just seems to be clear to me that this is the general way our minds work. I mentioned above that I went to bed right after reading the stories of troubles faced by children. And what did my subconscious mind do with those thoughts? This morning I woke up to a verse of scripture swimming around in my head. It is one of the songs we have on our CD. I am so grateful for those who taught me to sing scripture. It was not one person but many who shared various scripture verses with me through the years.
I woke up this morning singing, "In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death." Proverbs 14:26-27
Just a coincidence? I don't think so! God used the scriptures I have learned and comforted my heart throughout the night. Bless His Holy Name! I pray that God will comfort and help the families of those children and will help other children facing the dangers around them. And this is not the first time this has happened to me. The point I am making here is simple. The Spirit of God who is the Spirit of Truth takes the Word of Truth and applies it to situations in our lives and gives us strength, encouragement, direction and confidence. There is no doubt that God was directing me to prayer and encouraging me to fortify myself, my children and you as a reader with scripture. It is rather early in the morning and I don't want to wake my family but my spirit is shouting inside my chest as I write these words! “O Magnify the LORD with me and let us exalt His Name together.” Psalm 34:3
Children need “strong confidence.” They need “a place of refuge.” Children need help to avoid “the snares of death.” And they can find those things in “the fear of the LORD!” God declares it. "Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD." Psalm 34:11 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." Proverbs 9:10 Now these promises do not mean that children will not face dangers like car accidents, persecution or even martyrdom. God does care for these children and He makes special provisions for them. But, the importance of learning the fear of the LORD can not be over estimated.
Note the following additional benefits of the fear of the LORD:
Knowledge "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7
Long Life "The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened." Proverbs 10:27
Satisfaction and avoidance of evil "The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil." Proverbs 19:23 "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil." Proverbs 16:6 "Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith." Proverbs 15:16
Riches, honour and life "By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life." Proverbs 22:4
Cleanliness and endurance "The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether." Psalm 19:9
Wisdom "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding." Job 28:28 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." Psalms 111:10
"The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility." Proverbs 15:33
Knowledge of God "Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God." Proverbs 2:5
We all want these benefits for our children. And they can have them if we are willing to make the effort to teach them. We can build the truth of God's Word into their lives. We can read the Word to them, give them verses to memorize, demonstrate God's truth in our own lives, and take them to church and Sunday School. The fear of the LORD will teach us what God hates. "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate." Proverbs 8:13 It will teach us what not to do. "Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long." Proverbs 23:17
The converse is true. Look at Proverbs 1:20-33 and you will see the results of rejecting the fear of the LORD. "For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:" Proverbs 1:29 It is sobering to realize that wisdom laughs and mocks and does not answer when one rejects it. We certainly don't want that for our children.
Finally, we are encouraged by the truth that Jesus, our Savior, is prophesied to be the embodiment of all we have stated above. "And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;" Isaiah 11:2 It should be the goal of every child of God to grow up into the stature of the fullness of Christ. See Ephesians 4:13. Then we can experience the words of Isaiah 33:6 that states, "And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure." What a marvelous verse and promise from the LORD! You may wonder if the phrase appears in the New Testament. Note the words of Luke: "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied." Acts 9:31 May it be so for each of us. The LORD be magnified!