How can the fear of the Lord make a person live longer? The answer lies in this: When someone fears the Lord he will be careful to obey the Lord’s commandments. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and wisdom helps us to discern what’s best for us. What’s best for us is to trust God implicitly for He created us and knows us inside and out.
He also knows the future. When making important decisions we can only make projections as to what the future may hold. God has no need for projections. He knows the end from the beginning. Besides, He has also proven Himself to be fully trustworthy.
God’s commandments are not to restrict us and imprison us, but to set us free to have life and life in abundance. Obedience to God adds length and value to life. Our days may not be perfect, but every day of our life is special and contributes towards the ultimate goal: Living in God’s presence forever.
However, we need to discern what obedience to God is. Many are obedient to man-made ideas that have been passed off as commands from God. (see Mark 7). The church leaders of Jesus’ time were notorious for doing this and this leads people astray because although they believe they are obeying God by following man-made rules, they may in fact be disobeying Him.
‘Their worship is a farce, for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’
For you ignore God’s law and substitute your own tradition.” Then he said, “You skillfully sidestep God’s law in order to hold on to your own tradition. For instance, Moses gave you this law from God: ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ In this way, you let them disregard their needy parents. And so you cancel the word of God in order to hand down your own tradition. And this is only one example among many others.” Mark 7:7-13
Thankfully, God didn’t leave us over to the whimsical dangers of distorted teachers and their teachings. He gave us His written Word to guide us. As road users, we understand that the traffic rules are there for our own safety. Generally people accept and respect these rules without resistance. The same applies to the Lord’s “rules” for us. It is for our own safety and those who live by them will lengthen their life and add to the quality of their lives.
These words also have an eternal application. We know that this life is temporary and we all will leave it behind some day. No one escapes death. But those who fear the Lord and trust in His salvation offered in Christ Jesus will receive eternal life. They have crossed over from the road to death to the road to life.
In contrast, the years of the wicked are cut short because of their own choice to deliberately disobey the Lord’s commandments. They ignore the “instruction manual” and live according to their own rules. For many, their emotions (though fickle and unpredictable), rule their decision-making processes. No one else tells them what to do. But just like ignoring the instruction manual of an appliance is sure to cause that appliance have a shorter functional lifespan, so the one who makes a choice to ignore God will also decreases the years of his life –in this life and the next.
This proverb does not mean that all who die young have themselves to blame for their demise. It is, like all the other proverbs, a guide to living life wisely and not a guarantee of escaping death. None of us will escape death. Some have been given more years than others, but this does not mean that those who live longer have necessarily feared God and taken hold of His commandments. This is but a guideline to a good life when it has been granted us.
Moreover, it also alludes to our eternal destination: Life forevermore or death where we are hurled into utter darkness separated from this loving God of the Universe for all eternity.
- Fear and Wisdom (hopeforallmin.wordpress.com)
- A Word From The Word “Fearing the LORD Can Lengthen Our Life” (haroldcameron.wordpress.com)
- Fear of the Lord (myheartsmission.com)