The motives behind every action are more important than the actions themselves; God checks them all.
Is it good according to man, or the fear of the Lord?
Good according to man is an abomination; but the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
Fear of the Lord:
Strong’s Definition: morally reverence: – X dreadful, X exceedingly, fear (-fulness).
MOR’ALLY, adv. In a moral or ethical sense; according to the rules of morality.
According to the rules of the divine law. An action is not in strictness morally good, which does not proceed from good motives, or a principle of love and obedience to the divine law and to the lawgiver. Charity bestowed to gratify pride, or justice done by compulsion, cannot be morally good in the sight of God.
- Fear mingled with respect and esteem; veneration.
When quarrels and factions are carried openly, it is a sign that the reverence of government is lost.
The fear acceptable to God, is a filial fear, an awful reverence of the divine nature, proceeding from a just esteem of his perfections, which produces in us an inclination to his service and an unwillingness to offend him.
The highest degree of respect and reverence; respect mingled with some degree of awe; a feeling or sentiment excited by the dignity and superiority of a person, or by the sacredness of his character, and with regard to place, by its consecration to sacred services.
We find a secret awe and veneration for one who moves above us in a regular and illustrious course of virtue.
Jeremiah 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever