The Fear of the Lord

fear of the lordOne of the things that we are told in the Bible is the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. Most of all of us have heard that, and have struggled with that.

What does it mean? What does it mean to fear the Lord? How can wisdom start with fear?

I was thinking about that when I read today’s passage, Jeremiah 33: 8-9. Listen to what it says:

I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it.

When I was younger, my image of God was that He was a really angry old many in heaven, just waiting for me to mess up so that He could smite me. I say my image of God was that He was a really angry Col. Sanders.

That’s what I thought of when I thought of the fear of the Lord. I was afraid of that God.

But, as I’ve grown, I’ve come to realize that to fear the Lord isn’t be afraid of God, but it’s to have a holy reverence of God. It’s to respect Him. Honor Him. Know that He is different that we are. Understand that He is God. He is other. He is different.

And know that He still loves. That, to me, to fear the Lord.

And today, look what is says in that text. We will fear the Lord because of how good He is. We shall fear Him because of His blessings. We shall fear Him because of His love.

We don’t think of that as a reason to fear. Because we have the “fear of the Lord” wrong. We fear Him; we honour Him; we respect Him.

For He is good. He is love. He is love. He is grace. He is not a man, He is God. He does not (as we would) come in wrath, but He comes in mercy. He does not (as we would) come with vengeance in store, but He comes with hope for what is God.

We fear Him because He is not us. He is different. He is God. And He loves, no matter what.

We fear Him; we honor Him; we respect Him, because He is good. He is. He is good.

The fear of the Lord is beginning of fo wisdom. Yes. Yes, is it. May we have that holy, loving fear of our holy, loving God.

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