Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday's Wisdom - Fear God

Last week I let Spring Break and the fact that I was working on my SpeakEZ Attire project be my excuse for not getting Wednesday’s Wisdom in. Perhaps that wasn’t so wise. So, in catching up, this week we will investigate what it means to fear God, which Solomon tells us, is the beginning of knowledge.

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

I've heard "the fear of the LORD" explained as simply "reverence” or “respect for God" in an effort to lessen the "fear factor" so to speak. But to speak of the fear of the LORD as merely reverence or respect is to bring God down to be less than what He truly is.

I can remember as a teenager in high school being faced with choices to either do what I knew to be right or what I knew to be wrong. For example, on Friday nights after a ball game, I could either go home or go out drinking with friends. I always chose to go home. What could motivate a teenage boy to choose going home over partying with the boys? My father. Now have always loved and respected my earthly father. But I have come to realize it was not my love and respect for Dad that motivated me to choose home over partying.  It was fear. Pure fear. I knew that if I chose to do what I knew was wrong and my daddy found out, there would be a day of reckoning. And, honestly, I was afraid of what he might do to me.

I feared my earthly father. No, I didn't walk timidly around him anticipating a random act of violence. I didn’t avoid his presence or speaking to him because he was a volatile and abusive man. He was none of those. What I feared was his wrath toward my disobedience. And this fear motivated me to make the right choice on more than one occasion.

I believe that is a good illustration of the fear of the LORD. God is not a tyrant. He loves us more than we could ever comprehend. We don't have to tiptoe around Him. As His child, even when I was in the depth of my depravity, His love for me was the same as it is today and as it will be throughout all eternity. And because He is the perfect Father, He will always discipline me when I stray from Him. And that scares me. It also brings about knowledge.

The other day my son ran out toward the highway. And after I ran and snatched him away from the danger and applied superior force to his posterior side, he gained the knowledge that running onto a busy highway is dangerous. He has never seen what a vehicle traveling 65 MPH will do to a little boy upon impact. But he knows that there is something about that highway that initiates a strong reaction from his father who loves him. And hopefully, the fear of that reaction will keep him from running toward the road until he can understand the real danger such an act poses.

That is why I believe Solomon wrote that the fear of God is the beginning of knowledge. We may not completely understand exactly why God struck Ananias and Sapphira dead when He did, but we do learn that God’s discipline can be a matter of life or death. And we fear. And that kind of fear is a good thing.

2 comments:

  1. Great stuff Chris! You're right, so many people confuse the fear of the Lord to mean He is a mean ole God. Instead, He's like the dad that runs after you when you run into traffic. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Thanks so much Chris. I'm truly humbled that you would stop by. I'm learning so much from you and all of Dave Ramsey's team. Truly changing lives. God bless!

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