Proverbs 14:26 teaches, “In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge.” When Solomon writes of “fear of the Lord” he means an awe and respect for God. We find ourselves in many circumstances of life asking, “What am I supposed to do? How am I going to handle this? What am I supposed to say?” Proverbs 14:26 teaches us that when we fear God there is a strong confidence. God is holy and righteous. When we walk in a close relationship with God through faith in Jesus, we develop a Christlike righteousness in our lives. We are able to see, think, speak and respond in life with a righteousness that reflects that of God. This should cause us to have a strong confidence.
My wife and I have four children … a daughter and three sons. My boys love to hang out with their dad. And their dad loves to hang out with them. Wherever I go and whatever I do, my boys want to go and do with me. Proverbs 14:26 teaches that as I walk closely with the Lord I can have confidence in what I am doing AND my children will have a safe place to grow up.
There are two lessons that jump out in my mind from Proverbs 14:26. First, there really is such a thing as a generational curse. The apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:7, “… for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” James Dobson once stated, “What parents do in moderation our children will do in excess.” Wouldn’t it seem prudent to make sure that we are sowing for a godly heritage and legacy in our children?
Second, right is always right. Right may not always be easy to do, but right is always right to do. This may be the single most important character lesson we can model for our children. Righteousness is not determined by my being a good person according to my easy standards for good. Rather, righteousness is determined by my living out the truth of the Bible through surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul wrote, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Let me give you two names to consider. First, Judas Iscariot. Judas was one of the twelve men Jesus called to be his closest group of disciples. Judas wound up caving to the pressure of fortunes and he was the man who betrayed Jesus and turned him in to the Roman soldiers the night before Jesus was crucified. Judas then went out and hung himself. Judas’ legacy in history is that he was a traitor. As a matter of fact, in the Bible when the name Judas is mentioned in reference to someone other than Judas Isacriot, it always puts in parenthesis “not Iscariot”.
Second, William Wilberforce. Wiberforce was an English politician who was responsible for leading the charge to abolish slavery in England. He was a Christian who was burdened by his biblical convictions about what he was seeing in society. He paid a great price with his health, friendships, finances and reputation. But truth and righteousness prevailed and slavery was abolished in England in 1833. Remember, right may not always be easy, but right is always right.
Two men. Two lives. Two different legacies. One on the wrong side of history because he walked in unrighteousness. One on the right side of history because he walked in righteousness.