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By The Fear Of The Lord One Turns Away From Evil

By the fear of the Lord, men turn away from evil.
“By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the Lord one turns away from evil.” -Proverbs 16:6 (Image: The Writing on the Wall)

During the last few days, the fear of the Lord as a deterrent to evil has been the subject of my meditation. It’s easy to make excuses for our sins and shortcomings. Maybe we justify our sexual sin because it is only occasional and not as egregious as that of our peers. Or because we are lonely, bored, single, or stressed. Or maybe we look at external issues like the easy accessibility of pornography and a sex-crazed culture as mitigating factors of moral failure. There is a reason for everything that happens under the sun, but not every reason is a valid excuse. Indeed, in the face of the Lord none of our excuses have a leg to stand on.

No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel can avail against the Lord.

Proverbs 21:30

By the fear of the Lord men depart from evil. Mark it down. And that’s why Proverbs 23:17 says, “Be in the fear of the Lord at all times.” Where there is no fear of God, where there is no sense of transcendent and eternal culpability — guilt and punishment — you free humanity to be what they are. The greatest restraint is the fear of God.

John MacArthur

For the people of faith reading this, may our prayer today be for an increase in the fear of the Lord. And let’s bear in mind the first half of Proverbs 16:6 is By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for, which means there is grace not only to avoid evil but for the times we do miss the mark against what we know is right.

An intellectually curious millennial passionate about seeing people make healthy, informed choices about the moral direction of their lives. When I’m not reading or writing, I enjoy hiking, web-making, learning foreign languages, and watching live sports. Alumnus of Georgetown University (B.S.) and The Ohio State University (M.A.).

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