“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil” – Proverbs 16:6
The fear of the LORD really is the beginning of wisdom, for by fearing the LORD, everything else will take its proper place in our lives. Without a reverent fear of God, without keeping before us the fact that we are accountable to Him, without remembering that we are bought at a price, we give a foothold to the world, the flesh and the Devil. Proverbs 29:18 tells us “Where there is no vision, the people cast of restraint”, and the greatest thing to keep before our minds at all times is the knowledge of who God is. It was by not thinking on these things that Jeroboam fell into sin, and led the Northern kingdom with him; in short, he thought he could get away with it, that God would not call him to account. Suddenly he is confronted by the man of God, who literally puts the fear of God into him, and we see this proud an sinful man pleading for God’s mercy, and –for a moment at least – he is a changed man. Oswald Chambers said: “The remarkable thing about fearing God is that when you fear God you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God you fear everything else. “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord.” – Oswald Chambers (Run Today’s Race).
Albert Barns comments, “By mercy and truth,” not by sacrifices and burnt-offerings, “iniquity is purged”. Our sin is not purged because we are religious, because we go to church, or do good things, it is purged by God’s mercy. We must remember that we stand by Grace alone. As Paul reminded the Christians in Rome: “Thou wilt say then, The branches [Israel] were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee”. Romans 11:19-21.
Satan is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour; let’s not give him a head-start by not fearing God, but rather let’s let our fear of God keep us from running or falling into evil (thoughts or actions) this week.