The Fear of the Lord and Long LIfe

This week, we shall study the Fear of the Lord in relation to the four kinds of life in Proverbs. The first kind of life is long life, i.e., the life of strength.

The fear of the Lord prolongs [adds strength] life, but the years of the wicked will be short (10:27).

The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish (10:28).

A1 The way of the Lord is a stronghold to the blameless, but destruction to evildoers (10:29)

B1 The righteous will never be removed, but the wicked will not dwell in the land (10:30)

Note that A1 clarifies A, as B1 explains B. Thus, the fear of the Lord is the way of the Lord. The verb, “prolongs” (from Heb. yosep, “to add,” where we get the name, “Joseph”), means, “add strength” or “grow stronger.” (BDB) It is a qualitative, not quantitative, strength. Otherwise, those who fear God will live longer. The fear of God adds strength to the life of the righteous.

A couple had been married for 50 years. “Things have really changed,” she said. “You used to sit very close to me.”

“Well, I can remedy that,” he said, moving next to her on the couch.

“And you used to hold me tight.”

“How’s that?” he asked as he gave her a hug.

“Do you remember you used to nudge my neck and nibble on my ear loves?”

He jumped to his feet and left the room. “Where are you going?”

“I’ll be right back,” he said. “I’ve got to get my teeth!” [1]

Whether or not we will lose our teeth in old age, the fear of the Lord shall give us the strength of the Lord. The source of our strength is the Lord.

A1 gives the same meaning to A. The way of the Lord is a “stronghold” (Heb. ma’oz), which means, “a place of safety” or “protection.” Hence, the fear of the Lord adds strength to the righteous. This strength comes from God—the stronghold of the righteous.


[1] “Old Age.” Cited January 21, 2012. Online: http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/o/old_age.htm.

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