The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
The good life is possible. Even probable! Even certain! All you need is to understand this precious proverb and put its simple requirement into practice. The good life can be yours. Most people are too busy with empty lives to read and embrace satisfaction and success.
Read this marvelous sentence and comprehend it. You can have a great life, with lasting satisfaction in your heart, and avoid the pain and trouble that afflict others. What could be better? How could God and Solomon offer you more? Is this the best proverb? Maybe.
First, the fear of the LORD tendeth to life. The word tendeth means much more than an inclination or possibility of occurrence. Here it means to have a specific result, if allowed to act; to lead or conduce to some state or condition. It means more than a possibility, or even probability – it means definite certainty (Pr 10:16; 11:19,24; 14:23; 19:23; 21:5).
What kind of life is offered? A great life! Great in every way of happiness, prosperity, and success! David and Peter called it loving life and seeing good days (Ps 34:9-16; 112:1-3; I Pet 3:10-12). Solomon called it a rich, long, and honorable life avoiding dysfunction and death (Pr 10:27; 14:27; 22:4). Jesus called it the abundant life (Jn 10:10).
Second, the fear of the LORD brings lasting satisfaction. The world is unhappy. Consider their divorces, drugs, drunkenness, and extreme everything. They crave fulfillment and peace, but they cannot find it. God will not let them have it (Is 48:22; 57:21). God reserves peace for those that fear Him (Ps 25:12-14; 128:1-6; 149:19; Pr 14:26; 15:16).
Third, the fear of the LORD saves from evil. Pain and trouble are everywhere, because worldly men have no Protector like God, Who is committed to those that fear Him (I Tim 4:10; Ps 145:19; II Chron 16:9). Read Psalm 91 and see how God protects those that fear Him from every danger. No wonder the righteous are as bold as a lion (Pr 28:1; 14:26).
What must you do to have these three great benefits, guaranteed by God and King Solomon? Fear the LORD. Do you fully understand this short expression used often in the Bible (Pr 1:7; 9:10; 15:33; 23:17; Deut 10:12; II Sam 23:3; Job 1:8; Ps 36:1; Eccl 7:18; 12:13-14; Luke 12:4-5; Acts 10:22; II Cor 7:1; Eph 5:21; Heb 12:28-29)?
First, to fear the LORD, you must know Him. Who is the LORD? These letters, all capitalized, represent the tetragrammaton of the Hebrews – four consonants for the true and living God’s name – I AM THAT I AM (Ex 3:14). When pointed up with vowels to pronounce, it is the name JEHOVAH (Ex 6:3). Do you know Jehovah God of the Bible?
No other god will do. Allah, Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Buddha, the Great Spirit, the Great Architect of the Universe, and other gods are lies! They are the manmade names for imagined deities of nations and men that reject Jehovah of the Bible. They have no more reality or value than Zeus, Jupiter, Aphrodite, and Venus of the Greeks and Romans.
No false concept of Jehovah will do. The followers of Charles Taze Russell, the so-called Jehovah’s Witnesses, do not know Him. The Russellites, as they should be called, stole God’s name from the Bible to justify their cult of false prophecies, adoration of pyramids, and the blasphemous demotion of Jesus Christ to merely a god (John 1:1).
Do you know God Jehovah of the Bible? The God that created all things from nothing in six 24-hour days by His voice just 6000 years ago (Gen 1:1; Heb 11:3)? The God that made all things for Himself, even the wicked for the day of evil (Pr 16:4)? The God that will soon send Jesus Christ to vengefully judge the earth (Heb 1:8-12; Acts 17:29-31)?
Second, to fear the LORD Jehovah, you must fear Him. To rightly fear God is to greatly love Him, reverently worship Him, and faithfully serve Him (Deut 10:12; Eccl 12:13-14; Heb 12:28-29). It is not the terror that Adam and Eve had in Eden when they hid from Him, and it is not the terror of the devils that worshipped Jesus when He was on earth.
The fear of the LORD is belief in the Creator God of the Bible with an awestruck consciousness of His glory and greatness and a loving desire to obey all He requires to please and worship Him and avoid disappointing Him in any way. It is like the humble adoration and affection that good children give a loving yet authoritative father.
Do you fear the LORD? Unless God has regenerated you, it is impossible, for no man or woman by nature fears God (Ps 36:1; Rom 3:18; 1:18-32). You must be born again by the Spirit of God to fear Him (John 1:13; 3:3; 8:47; Gal 4:6). If you have a sincere desire to love and serve this God, then you have been saved like Cornelius (Acts 10:2,22,35).
Do you fear the LORD? Thank Him for your existence to know Him (this is why you exist). Thank Him for His word, including Proverbs, to know how to please Him. Thank Him for His Son Jesus Christ’s substitutionary death to save His elect people. Confess your sins, beg His forgiveness in Christ Jesus, and commit to always love and serve Him.
The three wonderful benefits and blessings of this proverb are yours. Humbly claim them before this glorious God, giving Him all the praise and worship due to His great name. Trust Him and His word in all matters of life and eternity (Ps 119:128), and He will be with you for a great life, for lasting satisfaction in your soul, and to deliver you from evil.
You might ask, but what about the martyrs? Surely they feared God, but look what happened to them. Their testimonies before dying and the witness of those who watched them die prove contented joy that cannot be fully described. They have eternal life, were and are fully satisfied, and the lions’ teeth or flames only sent them to Paradise early.
You might ask, but what about Job? The Bible states that he feared God, yet look how he suffered (Job 1:1). Did he have a good life, with great satisfaction, and protection from evil before his trial? Indeed (Job 1:2-3,10)! Did he get everything doubled to him after his trial? Indeed (Job 42:10-17)! And he got to meet God up close and personal in between.
The greatest life is to walk with God on earth and to have eternal life with Him in heaven.
The greatest satisfaction is to know God personally, including all eternity (Ps 73:23-28).
The greatest security is passing through death into heaven and being declared righteous.
Those that fear the LORD get all three, bought and guaranteed by the Lord Jesus Christ.