FEAR OF THE LORD, 17.01.19
Tree of Life (TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.
“The Fear of the Lord Is The Beginning of Wisdom,” notes from sermon given at Sierra Grande Rancher’s Meeting, 2004, http://www.bryankimsey.com/gospel/fear_of_the_lord.htm
What does is mean to fear the Lord? Biblically, fear of the Lord, is commonly translated as being in awe, or reverencing God. It is a rather special brand of fear, distinguished from the type of fear that would have one running away from an attacker, an enemy, etc.
We should hold Him in awe, “Since God is FAR above us and FAR greater than us, is our Creator who created us to do His will, and He can do with us as He will, including destroying us in a consuming fire, we should be fearful. We MUST recognize who He is and who we are NOT. We have absolutely no hope apart from God’s mercy upon us and fortunately, God is exceedingly and abundantly merciful. But, we should never take that mercy for granted. Never” (http://www.bryankimsey.com/gospel/fear_of_the_lord.htm ). According to the prophet Malachi, it is an even wiser thing to reverence/fear God because He holds in a special position those who fear Him: “Then those who revere Adonai spoke with each other, and Adonai took notice and heard, and a scroll of remembrance was written before Him, for those who revere Adonai, even those who esteem His Name. “So they shall be Mine,”—says Adonai-Tzva’ot—“in the day I make My own special possession. So I will spare them, as one spares his son serving him” (Mal.3:16,17). If you want to be part of His Kingdom it will indeed require fearing Him – holding Him in awe, and reverencing Him. We are called to honour God by fearing Him.
“The fear of Adonai is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Prov.9:10). “If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, then it follows that prior to the fear of the Lord, there is no wisdom. And, indeed, Psalm 14:1 has this to say “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God”. The logical flip of this statement is “The man who says in his heart “There is no God” is a fool”. What kind of wisdom does a fool have? NONE!!” (http://www.bryankimsey.com/gospel/fear_of_the_lord.htm ).
We should be afraid of walking out of step with Him/His will. We should be afraid of disobeying Him. We should walk in fear of not hearing Him, of missing a message. We should fear losing sight of Him. We should be fearful of making our own decisions. “The fear of Adonai is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Prov.1:7). We should be fearful of displeasing Him, and losing His coverage/protection: “You have given a banner to those who fear You . . . . That Your beloved may be delivered” (Ps.60:4,5). We should fear missing His voice, and thus missing His Best for us. We should be fearful of failing Him, disappointing Him, letting Him down. We should be afraid of failing to surrender each situation, circumstance, decision, and attitude to Him. We should be in fear of His judgment: “The nations were enraged, but Your wrath has come and the time for the dead to be judged— to reward Your servants . . . those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy the destroyers of the earth” (Rev.11:18). Instead of sporting rebellious attitudes, we should be afraid of disobedience.
Instead we seem to want to walk in our own way, determining our own solutions, making our own decisions. Instead, we seem unconcerned about hearing His voice, being disobedient, failing and disappointing Him, and are rather concerned with the approval of others, than of our heavenly Father’s approval. Our selves and others appear to be the most important things in our lives. Fitting into society, meeting the expectations of others/society appears far more important than concern about meeting God’s expectations, His approval, His esteem. Yet who will judge humans at the end of the age – humankind, or God Almighty?
We should be fearful about having wrong priorities. “Adonai commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear Adonai our God—for our good always, to keep us alive, as is the case this day. It will be righteousness to us, if we take care to do all this commandment before Adonai our God, just as He has commanded us’” (Deut.6:24,25). Yahweh’s instruction to fear Him is for the good of His people. It is not to feed His ego; it is not because He will beat us into submission. It is not because He’s a power-driven ogre, and just likes to order us around. It is because He is God, and He knows what is best for us; and He has our best interests at heart. “How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have given to those who take refuge in You” (Ps.31:20). “He will bless those who fear Adonai, the small together with the great” (Ps.115:13). “Happy is everyone in awe of Adonai, who walks in His ways, for you will eat the labor of your hands. You will be blessed and it will be good for you” (Ps.128:1,2). “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall” (Mal.4:2). Blessings are reserved for those who walk in awe, reverential fear, of Him.
There is a wrong kind of fear of the Lord, and there is a right form of fear of the Lord. Do not fear His rejection, that He will give up on you, stop loving you, or that He will harm you. Will He send storms and things that discipline, test, sift, and sand? Absolutely! But those are not to be feared; they are to be endured, even welcomed, because it is through those times that your faith is strengthened, your relationship with Him tightened, that you may reverence His greatness still more, and bring Him glory. It is never the case that He will reject you even when you fail. It is that you should not want to miss out on His Best for you (Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him” Ps.34:8,9) that you should fear.
© 2017, re-edited 2019 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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