Fear of the Lord
Proverbs 14:26-27 In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death.
We usually consider fear a negative emotion, but consider a life lived without fear. Stepping boldly into traffic whenever you feel like crossing the street… Grabbing a hot pan off the stove with your bare hands… Speeding down the freeway at over 100 mph when you’re in a hurry. Why don’t we normally behave like this? Because of fear! We understand that these actions can result in great harm to ourselves, and maybe others as well. The fear of an immediate physical consequence overwhelms our desire for a certain action.
Yet we often fail to consider the long-term spiritual consequences of our choices… perhaps, in part, because we don’t truly understand the nature of God. We have His word, with all of it’s “Thou shalts” and “Thou shalt nots,” but the bible is much more than a rule book, because rules alone are not sufficient to guide our actions. However, the word paints a vivid picture of who God is and shows us, not only what He expects of us, but why. We see the destructive nature of sin, and its horrible consequences, clearly spelled out. We encounter a holy God, a God of justice… but also a loving Father willing to show grace and mercy.
We learn to fear the Lord and respect His authority when we understand that His reign is not one of tyranny, but of love. He demands righteousness because He wants the best for His children. In that fear, we find refuge and life.