Saturday, December 20, 2008

Fear Of The Lord

In my last posting...Prayer & Fasting...I listed several things that we can be praying for concerning our nation. Number 6 on that list was for a fear of God.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments..." Psalm 111:10

What exactly does "fear of the Lord" mean? Are we to be afraid of God? Several people jump all over the interpretation often shared in the cross-reference columns of their Bible that it simply means to "reverence" Him. Is that all? If so, what does it mean to revere God?

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7

The Old Testament word for "fear", in all the verses I have gathered from the phrase in the Bible "fear of the Lord", is Yirah (Strong's #3374). It means to have a fear, terror or fearing. It references something as being awesome or terrifying and that object causing fear. Furthermore, it means to have a fear of God by way of respect, reverence and piety--to revere. That's a myriad of meaning!

"And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.'" Job 28:28

So this "fear" is a reverential respect for the awesome and terrifying being that God is! We revere the Lord because we know that He is worthy of our fear! As C. S. Lewis wrote in his Narnia volume, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, "...of course He is not safe (referring to Aslan which is a 'type' for Jesus) but He is good!"

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10

What other words do you notice in the verses above that, according to scripture, go hand in hand with fearing God? Wisdom and Understanding!

In fearing the Lord, I am trusting Him and showing reverence for, honor and respect because I know Him and, therefore, respond to Him for who He is. I grow in my wisdom and understanding as I take the knowledge I am growing in and act upon it. Question For Reflection today is simply this one--Do I "fear the Lord"?

We'll continue looking at this as we close out not only the month, but the year of our Lord, 2008.

God bless you, friend, as you continue to seek hard after His heart! Living rightly before God is not complicated; it may be difficult at times, but it is NOT complicated! :)