Better Choice – Fear the Lord

16 August 2020 PM – Proverbs 15:16 – Choices – Scott Childs
Introduction: Life is full of important choices. What school courses will I take? Does God want me to attend a Bible College or secular university? Does God want me to be a preacher or missionary (or his wife if you are a girl)? What kind of job should I pursue? Where should I live? These are very important choices.
            In the verse before us this evening, God challenges us to place the fear of the Lord before any of these choices.
Transition: The better choice that we are going to examine this evening goes against human reasoning and yet is true.
  1. Define the terms
a.         Little
1)         The word “little” describes fewness, littleness, something small or of little worth.
2)         It may be something that is few or small in size or amount.
3)         In the context, it is the extreme opposite of great treasures. It is a nearly empty storehouse.
b.         The fear of the LORD
1)         Defining the fear of the LORD is no easy task.
2)         The word “fear” means, to esteem, honour, respect, tremble before, submit to, obey, desire to please, be frightened to disobey.
3)         The word “LORD” speaks of Jehovah God.
4)         At least 155 Bible verses speak about fearing God in one form or another.
5)         Fearing the LORD is choosing to do right to please the LORD knowing that He is always right here with me. (SKC)
6)         Unger: The fear of God is of several kinds: superstitious, which is the fruit of ignorance; servile, which leads to abstinence from many sins through apprehension of punishment; and filial, which has its spring in love and prompts to care not to offend God and to endeavor in all things to please Him! It dreads God’s displeasure, desires his favor, reveres his holiness, submits cheerfully to his will, is grateful for his benefits, sincerely worships him, and conscientiously obeys his commands. Fear and love must coexist in us in order that either passion may be healthy and that we may please and rightly serve God.
7)         Wiersbe: “The fear of God is the fear that conquers all other fears, for the person who truly fears God need fear nothing else.”  1:219
8)         The fear of the LORD is really the theme of the verse.
c.          Great treasure
1)         The word “treasure” refers to a depository. It may be an armoury (for weapons), cellar (for produce), garner (for grain), a storehouse (for goods) or a treasury (for riches).
2)         The word “great” simply indicates much.
3)         This great treasure could be a great supply of anything of worth. It is an abundance of something valued.
d.         Trouble therewith
1)         This trouble is specifically a tumult, confusion, disturbance, turmoil, or a panic.
2)         A tumult is defined as a state of commotion and noise and confusion.
2.        Examine the contrasts
a.         Better is little with the fear of the LORD
1)         Here is a person who has very little in the way of material possessions. He does not have much in his savings account. Her pantry is not empty, but it is not very well stocked. His job does not earn a large income, but it is sufficient. Her clothes are not new, but they are sufficient.
2)         Though he or she does not have much in this world, they do have the fear of the LORD. They daily choose to do right knowing that the LORD is right there with them. They do not want to displease the LORD in any way. Instead, they worship and honour the Lord, desire God’s favour, cheerfully submit to His will, are grateful for His benefits and strive to obey God’s commands.
3)         They set their affection on things above not on things of this earth (Col 3:2).
b.         Than great treasure and trouble therewith
1)         This describes those who have much in this life stored up for many years. Their barns are full. Their bank account is bulging. From a human perspective, they have need of nothing.
2)         Those with great treasure are often like the rich man Jesus described in Luke 12:16-21. Turn and read this.
3)         Those pictured here had trouble with their great treasure. Their lives were filled with noisy, commotion and confusion. They had no peace.
4)         They lacked the fear of the LORD. (Proverbs 11:28) “He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.
3.        Determine the Better Choice reason
a.         Why is the first better than the second?
1)         It is far better to have very little in this world as long as we fear the Lord. The key thrust of this verse is that we must fear the Lord.
2)         God ordered kings to study the Bible to learn to fear the LORD. (Deuteronomy 17:19) “And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:” We too will gain a greater fear of the Lord as we passionately study the Bible (Pr 2:1-4). (Proverbs 2:5) “Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
3)         Fearing God produces many benefits.
a)         It is the beginning of knowledge (Pr 1:7)
b)         It helps you hate what God hates (Pr 8:13)
c)         It is the beginning of wisdom (Pr 9:10)
d)         It will prolong your days (Pr 10:27)
e)         It will give you a strong refuge (Pr 14:26)
f)          It will keep you from the snares of death (Pr 14:27)
g)         It will help you depart from evil (Pr 16:6)
h)         It tends to life and satisfies (Pr 19:23)
4)         Having little with the fear of the LORD is better because when you truly fear the Lord, the Lord will meet your needs. God honours those who put Him first. Jesus said in (Matthew 6:33) “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (1 Timothy 6:6-8) “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
5)         God did not say it was evil to have great treasure, he simply said that it often leads to trouble, especially when the Lord is not feared.
b.         How can we choose the better?
1)         Make choices in life based on honouring the Lord rather than on financial gain (e.g., becoming a missionary).
2)         Promote serving the Lord to your children above seeking a high-paying occupation. The world needs preachers, missionaries and evangelists far more than it needs successful business people. (Colossians 3:1) “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
3)         Seek a greater fear of the Lord. Study the topic in the Bible. Study the character of God. Learn to be content.
Conclusion: God said that it is far better to have only a little in this world and to fear the LORD than to have storehouses full with restless cares.
Let’s check our priorities this evening. If God has filled your storehouses, fear Him and use you abundance for His glory. If your storehouses are nearly empty, fear the Lord and trust Him daily to meet your needs. If God is tugging at your heart to become a preacher or missionary, fear Him and trust him. Whatever your situation, fear the LORD.
Song: God will take care of you 297