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Reverential Fear of God
Proverbs 14:27 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
27 The fear of Jehovah is a fountain of life,
that one may turn away from the snares of death.
The fear of Jehovah is a fountain of life: The fear of Jehovah is the repeated theme of wisdom found in the book of Proverbs. One who fears Jehovah, he has the qualities of humility (15:33; 22:4), wisdom (1:7), possessing faithfulness and Godly love (16:6), and a concern for his relationship with God (2:5; 9:10). In the book of Proverbs, fear of Jehovah is related to faith in God that is constantly seeking understanding. In what way is “the fear of Jehovah” “the beginning of knowledge” and ‘the beginning of wisdom’? (9:10) If we did not have a fear of Jehovah (i.e., not a morbid dread of him but rather a profound reverence and awe in the presence of such an all-powerful person), we would have no knowledge, for the Father is the Creator of all things and the Author of the Spirit-inspired Scriptures. Therefore, we need to give Jehovah the proper place in our life. Life is from the Father, and life is, of course, indispensable for our having any knowledge. The fountain of life (מְקוֹר חַיִּים meqor chayyim) reminds us of the tree of life back in 3:18. The fear of Jehovah is “a fountain of life to one who has it,” in that reverential fear of displeasing God out of our love will move us to acquire wisdom, which will supply us with that which we require, not only to enjoy our present life but also to obtain eternal life (John 3:16; 17:3). We will be taking in from the Bible accurate knowledge of God and the insight and good sense to be obedient to his commands. – Proverbs 3:18; 16:22.
that one may turn away from the snares of death: Here, in line 2, we do not find a parallel or contrast to line 1. That one may turn away (lasur) means to “avoid,” “change direction,” and “turn aside.” The sense is that one is trying to escape from or stay away from the snares of death. Here we have a figurative visual of a snare or trap that can endanger the wellbeing and will only end in death.
Our reverential fear of displeasing God out of our deep love for him motivates our desire to grow closer, which is a place of refuge. Solomon has shown how the instruction found in God’s Word can help us to improve the quality of our life but also helps us avoid endangering it. The reverential fear of displeasing Jehovah will lengthen one’s life by revealing to us the snares or traps that can lead to death. When we think about the hot, dry, parched, waterless climate of ancient Palestine, we can appreciate a fountain of flowing water, which may very well save our life. It is in the same sense that the (torah, law) teachings, instruction, direction of the wise refreshes our souls and helps us to avoid the traps of life that would ensnare us like an animal, endangering us, resulting in early death, or worse still eternal death upon Christ’s return.
 (cf. 1:29; 2:5; 9:10; 10:27; 14:26, 27; 15:16, 33; 16:6; 19:23; 22:4; 23:17)
 Leo G. Perdue, Wisdom & Creation: The Theology of Wisdom Literature (Nashville: Abingdon, 1994), p. 79.
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