Don’t Dismiss God’s Instruction

Evil people run [flee]·even though 
[or when] no one is chasing [pursues] them 
but good [righteous] people are as brave 
[confident] as a lion (Proverbs 28:1 Expanded Bible).

This one verse says relates to the many promises and warnings of God in Leviticus 26. God’s people must follow His commandments. Jesus affirmed he came to fulfill the Law, the psalms and the prophets! Solomon encourages the righteous and helps them stand strong in difficult times.

The Righteous

The righteous man has no need to fear, because what leads and follows him is the goodness and mercy of God—not his past or wrong doings. Psalm 23 says it wonderfully:

Surely your goodness and love [loyalty; mercy] 
will be with [pursue; follow] me all my life,

and I will live in the house of the Lord forever 
[ for length of days] (Psalm 23:6 Expanded Bible).

The Holy Spirit, also known as the Helper within the believer, encourages us to follow God’s ways and learn of Him. Our job is to step into that encouragement. What a blessing that the Helper enables us to know God in ways non-believers cannot.

The Wicked

However, the wicked, or ungodly, walk in confusion and fear because they do not follow God’s Word and ways. For disobedience to the Holy One there is an awful price to pay.

The kindness and severity of God can be seen throughout history—from Adam through our Savior Jesus Christ. By God’s kindness – through Jesus—we’ve been grafted into the cultivated tree—of Abraham. Solomon’s message is to encourage the righteous and help them stand strong in difficult times.

Prayer: Father, thank you for the Helper who leads us into obedience, truth, and confidence. He helps us know you better day by day.

Fear of the Lord

In Your Bible: Proverbs 9: 9-11

The wording “Fear of the Lord” (also seen in Proverbs 1:7 and Proverbs 10:27), is mentioned 104 times in the Old Testament but only 5 times in New Testament! Jesus is the difference—he shows us how to follow what God wants for us. Yes, Solomon said, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Biblical Fear

Even before our salvation experience, the fear of the Lord (Respect, Honor, Devotion, Obedience, Amazement) at what God does may be revealed to us! Solomon’s God inspired statements on Wisdom refers to Christ Jesus:

Give instruction to a wise man and he will become even wiser;
Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. 
The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of wisdom [its starting point and its essence],
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding and spiritual insight.
For by me (wisdom from God) your days will be multiplied,
And years of life shall be increased (Proverbs 9:9-11 AMP).

Revere God

The classical definition of fear of the Lord is reverential awe. * To me this means giving God proper place in my life, actually yielding my will to his, and living to please Him rather than myself.

Therefore, love the things God loves and hate the things God hates. We have developed a high tolerance for evil. But, Jesus came to show how much God loves man. Believe it. Solomon said, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Prayer: Father, I do believe you love me. Selah.

* Sermon Notes by Chuck Smith,

Good Advice

Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this is just and right. Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother—this is the first commandment with a promise—That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth (Ephesians 6:1-3 Amplified Bible).

Ephesians 6:1-9 Amplified Bible
Ephesians 6:2,3 New Century Bible
Ephesians 6:1-9 The Message
Ephesians 6:1-9 In your Bible

Paul gives guidance in practical matters. He literally says a child of God—a believer (man, woman, child, or a master or slave) can and must be a living witness to the power of Christ in his life.* Obedience is a key outward sign of trusting the Lord.


Paul uses a direct command from Exodus 20:12 and Deuteronomy 5:16 (honor your father and mother), the first command with a promise . . . Then everything will be well with you, and you will have a long life on the earth (Ephesians 6:2,3 New Century Version).

Our model here is the Christian family with Jesus as the head. Paul also challenges fathers [and mothers] not to exasperate their children or provoke them to anger. That is not what Christ would do.

Children are to be nurtured with the love and patience of the Lord. The love is there, but the patience is often lacking. In this combination, love strengthens the patience.

Slaves and Masters

The appeal continues with advice to slaves . . .respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye on obeying your real master, Christ (Ephesians 5:6 The Message).

Paul gives similar guidance to masters, . . . no abuse, please and no threats. You and your servants are both under the same Master in heaven. He makes no distinction between you and them (Ephesians 6:9 The Message).

Prayer: Father, I know I owe everything to you, give me strength to me see this guidance for living to honor you.

Question: How do these guidelines impact your understanding of how God wants you to implement your family responsibilities?

* What the Bible is all About, Henrietta C. Mears, Regal Books, Glendale, California, 1974, p. 503.

Civil Obedience and Love

Let every person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God (by His permission, His sanction), and those that exist do so by God’s appointment (Romans 13:1 Amplified Bible). Romans 13 by Frank Ball
Romans 13 Amplified Bible
Romans 13 Jubilee Bible
Romans 13 In Your Bible

Paul stresses civil obedience. In Palestine, and especially Galilee, the Jews were notoriously rebellious.* Now he addresses obedience to Roman authority – believers, knowing God is the absolute authority, must obey civil law.

This counsel concerning obedience to civil authority is a theme that runs throughout the New Testament (Matthew 22:21, Mark 12:17, Luke 20:25, Romans, 1 Timothy 2, Titus 3, and 1 Peter to list a few).

God Is the Supreme Authority

Paul reveals is that God allows or chooses leaders for nations and countries. Believers must respect governing authorities and their laws, because all power to rule exists with God’s permission. Let every soul submit itself to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God, and the powers that are ordained of God (Romans 13:1 Jubilee Bible).

Fulfill All the Commands

Paul reminds believers of a statement Jesus made. Of all God’s commandments . . . all these are fulfilled in one simple act of obedience: Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself (Romans 13:9 by Frank Ball). The command to love your neighbor is a new way of life empowered by God’s love – Jesus Christ. Alleluia.

Prayer: Father, thank you for making difficult things simple. We must obey and we must love. You know they are simple only with and through your power.

Questions: Who really selects our governing authorities . . . God amazingly. History reveals how God has punished nations and countries for unrighteous living. Can you name a few?

* The Daily Study Bible Series, The Letter to the Romans, William Barclay, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1957, pp. 185-189.