Something that’s been a reoccurring theme through this week is the idea of “the fear of God.” and it’s something that’s not really talked about as much as it should in current christian climate. So Today we’re going to be looking at another verse from what may be my favorite book in the bible, (beside the gospels)  proverbs 1:7 and my take on what it is to fear God.

So what does it say in proverbs 1:7? “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and discipline”  there’s a lot to go into with this passage, but it’s the first line that i really want to focus on here. When you hear the word fear what do you think of? Distress, terror, horror. Which when you look at it from this perspective, sounds nothing like the God of love that rules over our lives. “why should we fear the God of love?” seems to be the mindset of many a Christian, and when you look at what the definition of the word fear you can understand where the hesitance to talk about the fear of the lord would come from.

Why would we want people to fear the lord almighty if he is a god of love? well I’ll break down my perspective into three parts.

1.We fear what we don’t understand.

You can be the holiest of people, you can be in an amazing relationship with the Lord, you can love him with all of your heart, but until we meet with him we’ll never understand him. We ask for his will to be done, but until we pray about it we won’t know what his will might be! We don’t understand the ways of God until he shows us, and its human nature to fear what we don’t understand, True, our God is a merciful, loving God but following him is a scary experience! Stepping out and putting our faith in him can be terrifying but that’s what s so amazing about it, following the lord through the trials of this life is scary, but if we knew all that was ahead of us in this life, where would be our faith? we wouldn’t need it as we already know what’s going to happen!

2. Righteous fear over terror.

Righteous terror is a term I come up with to describe the fear that is spoken about in the world, I use it to describe being in awe of God’s wonder and majesty, it’s a feeling of being overwhelmed, if you saw the face of the creator of all things, I think you’d be a little scared too! This is a really important part of being a follower of Jesus to me at least,  if you don’t have some sort of “fear” of the power of him, an awe that nothing on this world can bring, my question is a simple one, Do you know that this is the God that willed the earth into being? This is the God that can make all things work for your good, no matter how bad everything may seem at that point, and you’re not in awe of this amazing being? Or the fact that, even though he could force his will upon all of us, he allows us to choose to follow him? If that’s not an awe-inspiring God i don’t know what is! which leads me to the next point…

3. this definition of fear isn’t the same as ours.

After a quick Google search (nothing but the up most research from me!) this is the definition of the word fear as we understand it:

fear

an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm

be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or harmful

This is an accurate representation of what I’d be feeling if I met God face to face on this earth, but for those biblical buffs among you may say “but in 1 John 4:18 it says: There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” and to that I reply with, why are we so sure that the fear in this context, that the fear spoken about here means the same as the fear of the lord? Because to me at least, it’s something completely different. Fearing one another isn’t the same as a healthy fear of the lord. Because the fear of the lord comes from a place of acknowledging his almighty power.It seems to be something that no one wants to preach on, but to me it’s rather important, a fear of the lord to me at least, is a respect of the power that he has over our lives, it’s not to live in fear as such,  but to be in awe of him. a fear of one another isn’t putting our trust in the Lord, in fact you could make the argument that fearing a person is putting them above the power that God has in our lives, that we’re more worried about what this person is going to do rather than trust in the God of all things, and know that we will care for us and all things will work out for our Good when we are for him.

There’s so much more that can be said on this topic, but i think this is where I’m going to finish for today, I may come back to this in the future! Personally I think it’s a really interesting topic and there are many ways to look it, feel free to disagree in the comments below, let’s get a discussion going! If you want another perspective check out BASIC series (here’s the link to the first one BASIC 1 Fear God ) it’s really interesting stuff!

Thank you for reading and May god bless you.

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Published by Luke Harmer