This particular verse was opened to me this morning in a slightly new sense: “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.” ~Proverbs 3:7
In order to not be wise in our own eyes, we must submit to God’s standards, to God’s definitions of right and wrong. I knew that, of course. What was impressed upon me was that turning away from evil is integrally part of not being wise in one’s own eyes.
Remember the temptation in the garden, “disobey, do what seems good to you, and you shall be like God”? Solomon is here instructing his child in the opposite–fear your God and flee from evil; for only God’s definitions of righteousness and evil are true. You can really only fear God if you turn away from evil. You can only cease being wise in your own eyes, you can only cease judging righteousness and evil for yourself, when you submit to God’s authority; thus acting opposite the sin of our first parents. Adam and Eve transgressed the command of God–they trusted their own interpretation of the situation more than God’s–they did not flee from evil–they did not follow orders.
We must flee from evil–until then, we shall never truly know the fear of the Lord. We cannot afford to operate upon our own definitions of evil and righteousness, because we are people under authority. Until we respect the law of our liege Lord in our hearts enough to honestly run from sin and temptation, we are not really obeying him…. Until we flee from evil, we are not really fearing God….