May the Joy of the Lord fill your hearts today and each day in the new year. The Love and Grace and Mercy of the Lord be with you. ❤️🙏
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge Prov. 1:7
All wisdom (understanding and knowledge) begins with the fear of the Lord. Do you want wisdom? life? and good all of your days? Listen and pay attention!
Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. pS 34
According to Psalm 34, Fear of the Lord is defined by these 6 keys:
- Keeping your tongue from evil
- Your lips from speaking deceit
- Departing from evil
- Doing good
- Seeking peace and pursuing it
An awesome promise follows :There is NO want to those who fear Him…those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. When you walk with the Lord, there is no reason to fear, He promises that you will have all you need. To Fear the Lord is more than just reverence, it’s living in obedience to Him and His Ways. It is to run from evil, seek the Lord, it is the beginning of wisdom and understanding. If you want wisdom, pay close attention.
“Fear of the Lord” defined through scripture:
- is wisdom and to depart from evil is understanding Job 28:28
- Is clean (pure) , enduring forever Ps 19:9
- Is the beginning of wisdom, understanding belongs to those to who his commandments Ps 111:10
- Is the beginning of wisdom, understanding belongs to those who know the Holy One Pr 9:10
- Is the beginning of knowledge Proverbs 1:7
- Is to hate evil prov 8:13
- Is a fountain of life that turns us away from the snares of death pr 14:27
- Is the instruction of wisdom pr 15:33
- Is the key to a long life pr 10:27, pr 19:23, a life of honor and riches pr 22:4
- Leads us away from evil Pr 16:6
- In Isaiah 11:2, part of the 7 fold spirit, this being the foundation
- Is the instruction of wisdom – (it takes a disciplined life) Prov 15:31-33
My son, if you receive my words,And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,And apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
And find the knowledge of God.6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;
He guards the paths of justice,And preserves the way of His saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice,
Equity and every good path.
When wisdom enters your heart,And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
Discretion will preserve you;Understanding will keep you,
To deliver you from the way of evil,From the man who speaks perverse things,
From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness;
Who rejoice in doing evil,And delight in the perversity of the wicked;
Whose ways are crooked,And who are devious in their paths;
To deliver you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words,
Do you want to understand the Fear of the Lord? Do you want to find knowledge and be given wisdom by the Lord ? (pr2)Then you must:
- Treasure His commands
- incline your ears to wisdom
- apply your heart to understanding
- cry out and ask for wisdom, discernment and understanding
- seek wisdom and understanding as you would seek a hidden treasure
PROMISES WHEN YOU SEEK THESE TREASURES: (pr2)
WISDOM WILL ENTER YOUR HEART ( I so need that)
DISCRETION WILL PRESERVE YOU (hello, I need that too)
YOUR WAYS WILL BE PRESERVED (I love this promise)
YOU WILL UNDERSTAND JUSTICE (don’t we all need this?)
YOU WILL UNDERSTAND RIGHTEOUSNESS (one righteous man can make a difference)
YOU WILL BE DELIVERED FROM THE WAY OF EVIL ( Amen!)
THE LORD WILL BE A SHIELD , GUARDING YOUR PATH (Ps91-He Protects me)
DELIVER YOU FROM THE IMMORAL WOMAN (and all temptations)
Isaiah 11:2 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;And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.
According to scripture and what the Lord has done in my life, I believe there is an order with the 7 fold spirit. (and linked with the 7 candlesticks) I believe we receive the Fear of the Lord first because “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom and true knowledge”. After the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord, we receive the spirit Knowledge, then might, then counsel. Next gift received after this is spirit of understanding,(Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart) then the spirit of wisdom is given (a gift) – and we are always growing and growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church.
SEARCH ME, O GOD, AND KNOW MY HEART;
TRY ME, AND KNOW MY ANXIETIES;
AND SEE IF THERE IS ANY WICKED WAY IN ME,
AND LEAD ME IN THE WAY OF EVERLASTING.
To fear God is to not fear man. To fear man is to not fear God.
Rehoboam , Solomon’s son, enters the scene and Israel is soon afterward divided. He’s the 4th king of Israel and the 1st king of Judah after the split. Rehoboam eventually rules over the tribes/ families of Judah and Benjamin . The North, also known as Samaria or Israel are separated from Judah with the remaining tribes and rule of Israel begins with King Jeroboam. Jeroboam was Solomon’s servant who rebelled against him and ran to Egypt.
Let’s backtrack... After the Israelites leave Egypt and trek through the wilderness for 40 years, God rules all Israel through Judges for many years. However, the people rebel against the Lord, they demand to have a king like other nations. God is not happy about this , He speaks and warns His people through the prophet Samuel. The people refuse to listen to God’s warnings and finally God gives them a king. His name was Saul. The Kingdom of Israel is soon taken from Saul for his disobedience and given to the next anointed king, King David. After King David dies, his son Solomon rules. Solomon dies and the kingdom splits and here we begin with the rule of King Rehoboam. ( That is the very short summary, its much more exciting and detailed than that)
At First, King Rohoboam rules over all the kingdom but Jeroboam (remember, he was the enemy of Rehoboams’s father) begins to revolt against him. I’m putting this in my own words, go to 1 Chronicles 10-13 and 1Kings 11-15 for all the details. As Rehoboam begins to rule, Jeroboam and the people stand up against the new king Rehoboam and say that his father, Solomon, was too hard on them and they need a break, long story short, Rehoboam listens to his young friends and not the wise elders and tells the people that what his father did was nothing compared to the heavy load that he will now put on them. Well, that was final straw,Jeroboam and the people of Israel say enough, what do we have to do with David, your father, anyway. ( meaning the house of David, as Rehoboam was King David’s So now Jeroboam begins to rule (revolt) in Israel and tough Rehoboam rules over Judah and Benjamin. yes, Rehoboam just lost a majority of his kingdom to the new king Jeroboam.
King Rehoboam didn’t think much of their threat to leave his rule. He sent Adoram (aka Hadoram), out to collect taxes from the rebellious tribes and they stoned and killed him. From here, the true division begins.
Things Rehoboam did – the good, the bad, and ultimately the bad……
- He was 41 when He began to rule and ruled for 17 years
- He was the son of Solomon, grandson of David, son of Jesse
- His mother was Naamah, an Ammonitess. If you go to Genesis 19:38, you’ll see that the tribe of Ammon were descendants of Lot through the younger daughter after they fled from Sodom. Lot was a nephew of Abraham.
- Maachah was his favorite wife, she was the granddaughter of Absalom, the son of David (see story of Absalom)
- King Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines. 28 sons and 60 daughters
- He began his rule in obedience to God when Shemaiah the man of God told him not to fight/war against his brethen. Both Israel and Judah were prepared and ready for war and they turned back from fighting. Even though he didn’t war against Jeroboam, they never liked each other. And , as Rehoboam obeys God to turn around in this first war, we see in Kings 14-15, 2x ” there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.”
- King Rehoboam built fortified cities in Judah and Benjamin: he built Bethlehem, Etam, Tekoa, Beth Zur, Sochoh, Adullam, Gath, Mareshah, Ziph, Adoraim, Lachish, Azekah, Zorah, Aijalon, and Hebron,
- He did not reject the Levites as King Jeroboam of Israel had done. King Jeroboam selected his own priests and served idols among other wickedness, but Rehoboam brought and welcomed them into the Land.
- He did, at first, follow the righteous steps of his fathers , only because the Priests and Levites were there. Their kingdom was strengthened by the Levites and made Rehoboam strong for 3 years. However, in years 3-5 they continue to forsake the Lord, and soon disaster is about to hit.
- He began to fall away from the Lord after he had made all his defense cities – seems like he was good for 3 years, scripture says ” when Rehoboam had established the kingdom and had strengthened himself, that he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel along with him” Oh boy, everyone is in sin now. Look how easily we can fall away from God.
- Egypt comes against King Rehoboam and all Judah in his 5th year. Egypt overtakes Judah and captures their fortified cities. I can only imagine that this is a result of Him forsaking the Lord
- Shemaiah the prophet tells King Rehoboam and the leaders “‘You have forsaken Me, and therefore I also have left you in the hand of Shishak.(Egypt)’ and the leaders and King Rehoboam listen! They respond with humble hearts and respond “The Lord is righteous”. Seems like Rehoboam has redeemed himself a little bit. Notice the importance of a HUMBLE heart, it’s about to save them from complete destruction.
- Once God sees how the leaders and King Rehoboam respond by humbling themselves before God, God says that he will not destroy them ,but grant them some deliverance ” My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they will be his servants, that they may distinguish My service from the service of the kingdoms of the nations.”
- Now Rehoboam is under Egypts rule as their servants and much of their cities and items from the temple and the kings house have been taken by Egypt.
- IMPORTANCE OF A HUMBLE HEART: “When he humbled himself, the wrath of the Lord turned from him, so as not to destroy him completely; and things also went well in Judah”
- King Rohoboams life ends and the description of his life in 2 Chronicles is as follows : And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord. Then Abijah his son reigns in his place after Rehoboam’s death.
- Rehoboam is mentioned in Matthew 1:17 in the Genealogy of Jesus.
- 1 Kings description of Rehoboams rule : “Now Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they provoked Him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. For they also built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and wooden images on every high hill and under every green tree. And there were also perverted persons in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel.
Rehoboam was partially good, sometimes. The description of his life’s rule was that of evil because he did not prepare his heart to seek the Lord. His other downfalls, pride, forsaking or ignoring the Lord, listening to the wrong advisors and allowing himself and the people to fall deep into sin.
His humble heart saved them from destruction even though they did end up serving Egypt, He knew and feared God at times, but it wasn’t enough. A humble and repentant heart is so important to the Lord. There are many examples of this throughout scripture. This is the heart the Lord is searching for today. Humble your heart before Him, Our almighty God and precious Savior, Jesus Christ.
(Cindy is a sister in Christ, I have known her for a few years now and enjoy her monthly letters of encouragement. I wanted to share July’s letter. if you’re interested in receiving her monthly letters, leave a comment. Thank you Cindy!)
By Cindy Coffin
A distraction is shifting our attention from something of greater importance to something of lesser importance and often there are consequences to our actions.
I started thinking about this the other day while I was driving. I got a text message notification. I try to keep my phone in my purse while in the car so I don’t get tempted to see who is sending me a message but I noticed that I really wanted to know. It bothers me when people drive while talking or texting but I understand the pull to do so.
That’s the same thing the enemy does to us. He tempts us with little distractions we think of as unimportant but can have serious consequences. Little things that go unnoticed (like binge watching your favorite TV series), things that are enjoyable (good food, tasty desserts, a glass of wine or a special relationship) and even things that are a little naughty (flirting with a co-worker or a risqué joke).
Just like when we talk or text on a cell phone – whether it’s hands free or hand held – we lose our focus. We aren’t giving our full attention to what is most important – the safety of others as well as ourselves. We take our eyes off the road and our hands from the steering wheel. 1 Peter 5:8 says “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” Life today seems to be caught up with technology to the point it is taking over an enormous portion of our time. We can’t leave home without our phone for fear of missing something. In fact it’s more than a phone, it’s a “smart” phone – or is it really?
We use it to keep track of almost every minute of our busy schedules, check social media, talk to friends, send text messages, read emails, browse the internet, play video games, shop for whatever we might need or want and so much more. It can be exhausting. And therein lies part of the problem – at least for me. I can get so caught up in other things that I forget to spend time doing what is most important – spending quiet time with the Lord. Don’t get me wrong. Not all distractions are bad. Sometimes we need to let loose and relax but we need to do all things in moderation
When we are regularly distracted by something, we need to stop and notice what it is that captures our attention. By doing this, we can see what’s important to us. Distractions can reveal what we love doing the most. But we also need to live in the real world. When we choose distractions over necessities it means we have less time to spend on the things that are most important and should take priority.
Time is such a precious commodity and every minute we use is a minute that we can never get back. We need to spend every precious moment we have in ways that will benefit not only us but others and God. We need to be wise stewards of our time.
Ephesians 5:16-18 tells us to “Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do…. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Here’s a radical thought. Why not unplug from your busy schedule, turn off your phone, your computer and the TV for a whole day and spend time in God’s Word? How about having a sit down dinner with your family and talk about the events of the day? You might be surprised how open communication can build healthy relationships. Why not take a walk, play a game or just immerse yourself in the beauty all around you?
Psalm 139:23-24 directs us to “Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Remember God loves you and wants the best for you but you need to meet Him halfway. Spend time building a intimate, personal relationship with Him, talk to Him and share your deepest thoughts, trust Him in all things and never, never take your focus from the One who loves you the most.
God Bless You