The Boy to Man Book, Chapter 1: The Fear of the Lord

fear of the Lord

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
~ Proverbs 1:7

A man got lost in the English countryside, and stopped to ask a local farmer how to get to London. “Well,” said the farmer, “If I was going to London, I wouldn’t start from here.”

If you are going to get where you want to go in life, you have to start at the right place. And the right place to start is to have a strong relationship with God. Building a strong relationship with God is the single most important thing you will ever do in your life.

When the book of Proverbs talks about “knowledge,” it’s talking about having the only kind of knowledge that’s important to be successful in life.

Now you will run into a lot of people on your way to becoming a man who will tell you they have the knowledge you need.

But if you want to have the only kind of knowledge that counts, the kind of knowledge that will make you a strong, mature man, you have to start at the right place. And the place you have to start is with the “fear of the LORD.”

When the Bible talks about the “fear of the LORD,” it does not mean that we have to be afraid of God like we would be afraid of a bad man. It means simply that we must have a deep respect for God and honor him more than anyone or anything else in the universe.

Having a strong relationship with God is much more important in life than having the right friends, marrying the right girl, getting the right education, or getting the right job.

The word “wisdom” in the Hebrew language literally means “skill.” God wants you to have the skills that are necessary to build the kind of life you want. And to acquire that wisdom, that skill, you must begin with the fear of the Lord. There is no other place to start. If you start anywhere else, you will not get where you want to go in life.

As you get older, you will run into more and more people who will despise the wisdom of the Bible. This will be especially true if you go to college. Some of these people will be highly educated, and they will be quite proud of the fact that they have rejected God and his truth. And they will try to get you to believe that only people that aren’t very smart still believe the Bible.

You may have teachers in high school and you will have professors in college who will ridicule the Scriptures and ridicule anyone who believes them.

You must make up your mind right now that you will not be fooled by these people. The mark of a fool is that he is naive and will believe anything he is told. Do not let these people who think they are so smart deceive you. They do not have your best interests at heart. People who are easily swayed are fools. Don’t be a fool!

You must never forget that the real fool is the man who rejects God, not the man who honors him.

Never, ever forget that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”


Father, I pray that my son and daughter will always remember that fearing you, revering you, respecting you, honoring you, is the beginning of knowledge. Make them strong when others try to fool them into rejecting you and your word. Make them strong in their faith that they may acquire the full measure of the knowledge that will make them a mature man or woman. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

by Bryan Fischer

Facing Life’s Unknowns

Hebrews 11:23-29

Uncertain circumstances characterized Moses’ entire life. He was born in Egypt at a time when the growing Hebrew population was seen as a threat. The king enslaved the community and ordered that their male infants be killed (Ex. 1:22). To protect Moses, his family let others raise him as an Egyptian (2:1-10).

When he was grown, Moses had to flee and live far away from home (vv. 11-15). Later, in a personal encounter with the Lord, he learned that he was God’s choice to be leader of the Israelite slaves (3:10). Moses felt ill-equipped for his new role, which involved approaching Pharaoh to request his people’s release. And then imagine how he must have questioned his ability to lead more than a million Hebrews while contending with their ingratitude and rebelliousness.

Yet Moses steadfastly carried on. What enabled him to persevere was faith, which God’s Word defines as “the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen” (Heb. 11:1 NLT). Because Moses had learned how to see “Him who is unseen” (v. 27), he was able to grasp the reality of his invisible Lord’s character and promises. After encountering God at the burning bush (Ex. 3:2), he viewed life differently—from then on, his purpose was to rely on the Lord and follow His divine plan.

Though Moses did not live perfectly, the Scriptures commend him for walking by faith. From his example, we can learn how to persevere through the unknowns of life. And with the Holy Spirit’s help, we, too, can become men and women of great faith.

Behold, He Cometh

“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.” (Revelation 1:7)

This striking verse, which deals with the return of Christ, contains several aspects well worth our study.

First: “Behold, he cometh.” This event is still future, but it is as sure as if it had already taken place. Christ will return.

Second: “They shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). His coming “with clouds” was also prophesied in Daniel 7:13, Matthew 26:64, Acts 1:11, and elsewhere.

Third: “Every eye shall see him.” Who is included here? Certainly everyone living at the time, both Christian and non-Christian. But also the saved dead and raptured saints will be present (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Can it be that the unsaved dead will likewise “see” Him come? Those who died without Christ should be vitally interested. Either the coming rebellion will defeat Christ and free their spirits from Hades, or they will soon face certain, final judgment.

Fourth, notice the different reactions. His tormentors will be in horrible distress; those who “pierced him” will be in inexpressible anguish as they realize the awful consequences of their actions. Who pierced Him? Certainly Israel, but the collective sins of all men of all ages pierced Him. Some have gained forgiveness and will gladly see Him come; others have refused and will “wail” at His return.

Saints in heaven and on Earth will delight in His coming. To them, it means release from persecution, justice on their persecutors, and a righteous kingdom established. It will mean questions answered, imperfections removed, the curse repealed. Any distress felt for friends and loved ones still living in rejection will be swallowed up in the rightness of the action. JDM

Sending Something Better

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. —John 16:13

Our trouble is that we are trying to confirm the truth of Christianity by an appeal to external evidence. We are saying… “Here is a great statesman who believes the Bible. Therefore, the Bible must be true.” We quote Daniel Webster, or Roger Bacon. We write books to show that some scientist believed in Christianity: therefore, Christianity must be true. We are all the way out on the wrong track, brother! That is not New Testament Christianity at all. That is a pitiful, whimpering, drooling appeal to the flesh. That never was the testimony of the New Testament, never the way God did things—never! You might satisfy the intellects of men by external evidences, and Christ did, I say, point to external evidence when He was here on the earth. But He said, “I am sending you something better. I am taking Christian apologetics out of the realm of logic and putting it into the realm of life. I am proving My deity, and My proof will not be an appeal to a general or a prime minister. The proof lies in an invisible, unseen but powerful energy that visits the human soul when the gospel is preached—the Holy Ghost!”

Lord, open our ears that we might hear when the Holy Spirit speaks. Amen.

To Be Christlike: Walk in the Spirit

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come… He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. John 16:13, 14

If we are going to reproduce Christ on earth and be Christlike and show forth Christ, what is our greatest need?

We must have the Spirit of Christ!

If we are going to be the children of God, we must have the Spirit of the Father to breathe in our hearts and breathe through us. That is why we must have the Spirit of God! That is why the church must have the Spirit of Christ!

The Christian church is called to live above her own ability. She is called to live on a plane so high that no human being can live like that of his own ability and power. The humblest Christian is called to live a miracle, a life that is a moral and spiritual life with such intensity and such purity that no human being can do it—only Jesus Christ can do it. He wants the Spirit of Christ to come to His people—an invasion from above affecting us mentally, morally and spiritually!

The Holy Spirit brings the wonderful mystery that is God to us, and presents Him to the human spirit. The Spirit is our Teacher, and if He does not teach us, we never can know. He is our Illuminator, and if He does not turn on the light, we never can see. He is the Healer of our deaf ears, and if He does not touch our ears, we never can hear!

The Holy Ghost bestows upon us a beatitude beyond compare. He asks nothing except that we be willing to listen, willing to obey!

God Reveals Himself

I saw also the Lord… Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone. ISAIAH 6:1, 5

I often wonder how so many people can live with a continuing hope that they will in some way be able to commune with God through their intellectual capacities. When will they realize that if they could possibly “discover” God they realize that with the intellect, they would be equal to God?

Isaiah is a dramatic example of God’s revelation of Himself to mankind. Isaiah could have tried for a million years to reach God by means of his intellect. But brainpower is not the means by which we find God!

Brethren, it is true that all of us would still be far from God if He had not graciously and in love revealed Himself to us. In the space of a short second of time, the Lord who loves us can reveal Himself to the willing spirit of a man or woman. It is only then that an Isaiah, or any one of us, can say with humble assurance, “I know Him!”

A committed Christian, then, should have upon him an element that is beyond psychology—beyond all natural laws and into spiritual laws!

Lord, thank You for what we can know about You through the various encounters we read in the Bible. Lord, I want to be prepared in my heart to hear Your voice when You speak.