Please note, Lotis is giving away an electronic copy of her book, the Song of the Tree (see description below).
Today’s reading: Proverbs 9, Daniel 3,
Today’s focal verse: Proverbs 9:10 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment (NLT).
This week’s memory verse: This week, I encourage you to review the verses you’ve already memorized. Week one, we memorized Proverbs 2:7-8; week two we memorized Proverbs 3:9-10; and last week we memorized Proverbs 6:16-17
Wisdom and Fear by Lotis Key
Proverbs 9: 1-12
“The fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom.” From this statement, I understand that wisdom, and the fear of the Lord, are inseparably linked.
Yet, in this world, it’s hard to find much recognizable as, “fear of the Lord”. Instead, if it were possible to condense all human fears, press them together into one small box, and slap a label on them, it would be this: I fear my needs will not be met.
We steal because we fear we won’t have enough. We lie because we fear the truth is costly. We murder with our tongues, because we fear competition will rob us. We commit adultery because we fear a shortage of pleasure. We worship other gods, because we fear our own, can’t, or won’t, satisfy our, “needs”.
Our every foolishness, our every crime, is based in fear, not of God, but of the world.
The Scriptures, repeatedly lift up, “the fear of the Lord”. Yet, what is it? How do we get it if, let’s say, we look over our life, and realize, that perhaps what we really need, is a little wisdom?
In this particular sense, what if we understood “fear” to be “recognition”? To recognize, that He is the Creator and we, are merely the created. To recognize, that an all-powerful Creator, who made sacrifice, of His only begotten Son, for love of His creation, is a Creator worth trusting for our supply.
To embrace this recognition, results in the chain-breaking freedom of our first, baby steps into the realm of Wisdom: a Wisdom that brings gifts, and lays them at our feet.
Wisdom has built her house; she has set up its seven pillars.
(Wisdom provides shelter.)
She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table.
(Wisdom provides sustenance.)
She has sent out her servants, and she calls from the highest point of the city,
“Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
“Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of insight.”
(Wisdom opens her door to all, offering entry into a life of ready supply.)
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults; whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.
(Wisdom gives understanding of, and insight into, the world around us.)
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
(Wisdom guides, and instructs, our journey through this life.)
For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.
(Wisdom promises a future, and a hope.)
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
(Wisdom does not force us to her will. She advises of the consequences, yet offers the freedom to accept, or reject, her.)
Oh, Lord, help me to put away my fears of the world. Help me to fear YOU instead, and in that fear, to find real peace, true love, and the satisfaction, of my every need.
Lotis Melisande Key (SAG/AFTRA/ACFW/MCWG) has lived a life of wide travel and curious variety. She’s raised horses in the Australian outback; skied the Alps; run tours through a tropical jungle; bought & sold antiquities. She’s been a restaurateur; a breeder of show cats; a third world church planter. She’s worked in an orphanage, and run a ministry that puts children through school.
After a professional theater début at the age of twelve, she subsequently starred in over seventy-five feature films for the Asian market. She’s also hosted numerous television and radio shows. Upon settling in the United States, she signed with Chicago, New York, and Minneapolis based talent agencies, expanding into American on-camera and voice over narration, industrial videos, trade shows, professional theater, television, and radio commercials.
Retiring from secular work, she founded MESSENGERS, a Christian theater arts group based at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis. As artistic director, she toured the company throughout the US, Canada, and Asia.
Vice-president of the Minnesota Christian Writers Guild, Lotis is a passionate storyteller. Her work focuses on the mystery of God, and His incomprehensible love for the unattractive, wayward parts, of His otherwise perfect, creation.
The Song of the Tree:
Despite promises of eternal joy given by the Tree of Life, a privileged young woman loses everything in a brutal war. Her husband disappears; her family is murdered; her home is burned to the ground.
Desperate, starving, and burdened with an unwanted child, she now despises and rejects the Tree she once worshiped. Ripped from her land and people, forced into survival immigration, she becomes a lowly refugee, a servant in the homes of the rich. Her unusually gifted child thrives, but is an ever-present reminder of ultimate loss and betrayal.
Two women: one broken, the other rooted in bitterness, continue to be drawn towards the song of a Tree that will not let them go. Along roads of degrading poverty and equally destructive wealth, each much wrestle with the siren call of perfect love, and its altar sacrifice of perfect trust.
The Song of the Tree is an intense, contemporary allegory that moves the God-seeker from fist shaking stance, down to knees before the throne.
(Buy it here!)
Let’s talk about this. No one likes to be afraid, nor do I believe God wants us to be afraid. In fact, throughout the Bible we read the words “Do not fear!” or “Do not be afraid!” numerous times.
And yet, I suspect we all have times when our fears and anxieties get the best of us. How might rerouting our thoughts help us when we feel afraid?
For me, it comes down to complete surrender. I need to get to the point, in whatever situation I find myself in, that I can say, “Not my will but thine be done, Lord.” Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I need to reach the point where I can say, “But even if He doesn’t (save me from the fire, heal me, answer this prayer, whatever), we want to make it clear to you, your majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” In other words, regardless of what God chooses, I will remain loyal and fully committed, fully surrendered, to Him. I’ve reached that point numerous times–for but a moment, and oh, what immense peace that brings! But somehow, I crawl off that altar soon after.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you believe peace comes in full surrender? Pause to consider the things that cause you angst. How might releasing your expectations provide freedom?
I’ve also noticed my peace dramatically increases when I spend more time with my Savior. Do you notice a similar correlation? I’ve mentioned before, the Bible tells us we’ve been given the mind of Christ, but I suspect to fully take hold of that mind, we need to stay connected with Christ.
Pause to think of a time when you’ve been exceptionally fearful. Do you remember your spiritual state at that time? Were you diligent about spending time with Christ or had life’s business gotten in the way?
What thoughts came to mind as you read today’s passage?
Let’s talk about this! You can share your thoughts in the comments below or join our Yahoo Bible study group by clicking the link below.
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