Proverbs 14:2

Fearing or Despising the Lord

Introduction:

1. This proverb is quite simple. It states that a person’s attitude towards the Lord is seen in his behavior.

2. Those who fear God will walk in the way of uprightness.

3. Those who hate the Lord walk in perverse ways.

4. A person’s behavior is often a reflection of his attitude towards God.

2a He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD…

1. Fearing God is a LIFE DOMINATING attitude.

a. The fear of the Lord affects absolutely everything we do, say, or even think!

b. Prov. 1:7 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning? of knowledge (9:10)
• The God-fearing man will have a knowledge of right and wrong… and he will fear the wrong.
• This will keep him walking in uprightness.

c. Prov. 2:3-5 – fearing God is associated with seeking Him wholeheartedly… and the knowledge of God.
• The one who fears God will seek Him.
• He will seek His favor; His grace; His word.
• He will realize that a half-hearted approach to an omniscient God is foolish.

d. Prov. 3:7 – fearing God is associated with departing from evil. (16:6)
• To know God is to fear Him.
• To fear Him is to depart from evil.
• One with knowledge and fear of God will be deathly afraid of displeasing God—for our God is a consuming fire! It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God!
• It is good to fear God. It will keep us from evil—AND from the awful consequences of evil.

e. Prov. 8:13 – The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
• The God-fearing man departs from evil and HATES evil!
• He hates every form of evil: beginning at self with pride and arrogance…
• He hates an evil mouth… Godly fear will clean up our mouths too!

f. Prov. 10:27 – Associated with a long life… considered a great blessing.

g. Prov. 14:26-27 – A place of safety and a fountain of life…
• The fear of God will keep us away from foolish behavior that is dangerous.
• Fearing God = fearing the government = obeying the laws. That results in good standing; safety! If you fear god, you don’t have to fear the sword of government.
• Fearing God = safety from sinful behavior that might cut short one’s life…

h. Prov. 15:16 – Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.?
• It results in a life of contentment.
• A God-fearing man who has but a little is far better than a godless man who may have a lot.
• One is weightier than the other.

i. Prov. 19:23 – The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
• The God fearing man has a heart attitude that tends to life; it tends toward safety.
• This man is content… more content than the wealthy man who has no fear of God. That godless man may be miserable!
• The God-fearer also “shall not be visited with evil.” (Calamity can be avoided by fearing God and submitting to His word.)

j. Prov.22:4 – By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. 
• In other words, the man who fears God will be honored by God and blessed by God.
• Godly fear and humility go hand in hand.
• That is an honorable life… a life of honor and integrity… uprightness.

k. Prov. 23:17 – it keeps us from envy… satisfied…

l. Prov. 24:21 – it will keep us from meddling with those prone to rebellion and anarchy… overthrowing the government… and getting thrown in jail or worse!

m. A God-fearing heart results in an upright life.

2. Uprightness

a. Defined: right; straight and even (as opposed to crooked); with moral implications; the quality of conforming to a standard.

b. Prov. 4:11 – I have led thee in RIGHT paths (same word).

c. Fearing God will keep us on the RIGHT road… the right pathway… doing things RIGHT before God… conforming to His standards…

2b But he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.

1. He that is perverse in his ways…

a. Perverse: to depart; turn aside; to depart; to go wrong, go crooked; devious, perverse.

b. This does not necessarily speak of a twisted and demented pervert… but rather, it is the opposite of uprightness…

c. Uprightness is straight and even… this is crooked… dishonest… wayward…

d. Walking in uprightness means doing things the right way; this term speaks of doing things the wrong way…

e. Uprightness speaks of walking the straight and narrow way. Perverseness speaks of turning out of that way… to another way.

2. 2:14-15 – the ways of the evil man are crooked… anything that departs from the straight and narrow way is crooked… and it doesn’t matter at which point they depart either. His ways are dishonest, unfaithful, unjust, crooked…

3. Those who live this way demonstrate that they do NOT fear God. In fact, their actions demonstrate that they DESPISE God!

a. Very few people would ever SAY that they despise God, but their actions speak for them.

b. Many folks might actually SAY that they LOVE God, but their actions demonstrate just the opposite. They HATE God.

c. This is GOD’s estimate. Regardless of what men might say, GOD says that the one who is walking OFF the straight and narrow way actually hates God!

d. Titus 1:16 – They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
• However lovely their words are, their works demonstrate that they do not know Him.
• They profess to know God—but in reality they despise Him—and their works prove it.

e. Matt. 6:24 – Jesus stated one example of this. Walking in the way of covetousness is in reality “despising God.”

4. Despise:

a. Meaning: to despise; hold in contempt; disdain; consider worthless.

b. This is quite a powerful statement: when a man is not walking in uprightness… when he steps out of the way… his works are proclaiming a message.

c. That message is: “I hate God. I disdain God and His ways. I consider God and His truth to be worthless.”

d. Would YOU ever say that? Like it or not, that IS the message our lifestyle proclaims when we are not walking in uprightness.

e. Prov. 1:29 – Some men do NOT fear God; they reject His words… and from God’s perspective, they actually “despise Him.” This attitude results in perverse ways.

f. Those who despise God will despise His Word… and thus will not submit to it. Hence, they follow perverse ways.

3. His attitude towards God affects his lifestyle… his behavior… his walk.

a. Nothing has a great effect on our lives and holiness than the fear of God… a reverence for God…

b. Hence, that is just one more reason why we are going to CLING to what is considered an old fashioned way of worship… one that emphasizes reverence… and godly fear.

c. Once the fear of God is gone—you just watch the behavior change—and go right downhill! (in the churches!)

d. A God fearing attitude results in uprightness.

e. When the fear of God is gone… the result is perversity.

4. Our heart attitude towards God has a great effect on the way we live.

a. Whatever is in our hearts has a way of flowing out and manifesting itself.

b. Prov. 4:23 – out of our hearts flow all the issues of life. Keep your heart with all diligence. Keep it pure. Keep it reverent. Keep it in the fear of the Lord.

c. If our heart is full of godly fear and reverence, it will SHOW in the way we live.

d. Prov. 23:17 – THEREFORE, we should LIVE in the fear of the Lord! Every day… moment by moment… day by day…