Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A healthy and saving kind of fear

I read aloud Psalm 103 during our family Thanksgiving gathering this year. It is a powerful statement of God’s love and goodness - so much to be thankful for. However, there was a recurring phrase that stuck out and caused me to revisit the passage last night. The phrase “those who fear him” is a qualifier affixed to many of the promises outlined in this Psalm. Let’s take a look:

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children- with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

Fearing the Lord is rather important. So, what does it mean to fear the Lord? We shouldn’t fear our Father - right? It is interesting that in these passages fearing the Lord is mentioned side-by-side with his love, goodness, and blessings. Here is some additional insight into what the fear of the Lord is.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools (morally deficient) despise wisdom and discipline. - Proverbs 1:7

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. – Psalm 34:8-11
The primary theme of the entire book of Proverbs is the fear of the Lord. It presents the fear of the Lord as a loving reverence for God, a real submission to his lordship, and obedience to his commands. The fear of the Lord is often defined as being in awe of him. However, it goes further than this and is manifested in a life lived for him. Fearing the Lord also involves trusting in him and obeying him.

I located a good presentation called "WALKING IN THE FEAR OF THE LORD" which outlines and defines the fear of the Lord as well as instruction on how to properly develop a healthy and saving fear of the Lord.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and it must be something we both understand and live out from our innermost being. I am definitely challenged to search my heart and my life to make sure I daily live with this healthy and saving kind of fear.

No comments: