Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wisdom Study Session 8: Those who Fear the Lord Know, Follow, and Use God's Word to Guide Their Lives and Deal with Evil

Another central part of fearing the Lord is knowing and living according to His word. The scriptures identify four aspects of this.

The first is to make serious, intentional, effective, effort to learn the scriptures. Deuteronomy 6:1-2, Deuteronomy 17:18-20, Deuteronomy 31:9-13, Proverbs 2:1-11, Sirach 2:16, Acts 17:11, Colossians 3:16,  1Thessalonians 2:13, James 1:25, 1 Peter 1:23-2:3. This is not a casual thing, but is much deeper. We are to  “look[ ] intently into”  scripture, James 1:25, “store up,” Proverbs 2:1 and “be filled” with it. Sirach 2:16.  And that is not rote or abstract knowledge because the next three aspects of this require that we understand scriptural principles on a functional level.

The second is actually living out, implementing, those principles.  We must “do them,” Deuteronomy 6:1, James 1:25, “follow” them “carefully,” Deuteronomy 17:19, and “observe” them “diligently.” Deuteronomy 31:12. We are to “practice” those principles, Matthew 5:19, and let them perform their work through us.  1Thessalonians 2:13.

The third is using scripture as a benchmark for evaluating potential actions. Proverbs 2:9 describes how the serious pursuit of scriptural knowledge will help us “understand what is right and just[.]”  Jesus measured Satan’s offers against scripture in Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-11. Acts 17:10-12 commended the Bereans because they "examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."

Fourth, we can use scripture as a tool to avoid evil. Deuteronomy 17:18-20 describes  inoculating a God fearing leader with scripture so that that “his heart [will] not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he [will] not turn aside from the commandment.” Proverbs 2 tells us how diligently seeking to know and follow God’s Word will “protect” and “guard” us from various forms of evil. Jesus gave us the prime example of this in His “it is written” responses to Satan’s temptations. Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-11