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Seeds of the Kingdom

A Fountain of Life

by Liz Griffin

2 November 2022

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The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life turning a person from the snares of death.
Proverbs 14:27, NIV

After living overseas in countries where the dominant religion is not Christianity, I was thrilled whenever I found words of Scripture written in public places in Britain. I still remember the day I came across an old fountain in the city of Chester which had the words, ‘The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life’. Each time I read that verse now in the Bible, I remember seeing the words permanently engraved in stone on that fountain.

I found nine other references to the fear of the Lord in the Book of Proverbs. They explain that the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (the knowledge of God), the beginning of wisdom, the hatred of evil, and that it leads to riches, honour, long life, blessing, and that it turns us away from evil.

I have always loved reading Job’s poetic speech in Job, Chapter 28. He marvels at the amazing things that can be achieved by men who mine for iron, silver, gold, and precious stones in the depths of the earth, and then he asks, ‘But where can wisdom be found?’ The answer is that only God knows where it can be found, but He has revealed the answer to us, And he said to the human race, “The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding”’ (Job 28:28).

The Psalmist confirms this when he says, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise’ (Psalm 111:10). Human beings may have great intelligence and vast amounts of knowledge, but what they do and the choices they make can be either foolish or wise. God says that, if we seek Him and learn of His ways, we will obtain wisdom.

Jesus told us not to be afraid of human beings but to fear God. ‘“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.” So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven (Matthew 10:26-33, NLT).

It is a very serious warning that Jesus gives. If we are intimidated by human beings and choose to please them rather than God our Father, we might end up keeping our earthly life, but eternally separated from God in hell. But if we know that the most important thing is to please God, He will save us from a destiny which is worse than death.

We might not have to choose to die for our faith, but we might fear the rejection which would come if we spoke the truth of God’s word, and so we could be tempted to compromise with the world’s value system. Even in Christian circles we might be misunderstood and face hostility if we disagree with those whom we consider are compromising biblical truth.

Liz Griffin lived for 20 years as an expatriate in South Africa, Bahrain and Japan, as her husband Paul worked for an international oil company. Paul and Liz became involved with Ellel Ministries in 1991 as part of the ministry team and joined the full-time team at Ellel Grange in 1995. Paul and Liz teach and minister to those seeking healing in their lives and together have written two books, 'Anger - How Do You Handle It' and 'Hope and Healing For The Abused'.


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