Please forgive me for not posting in….oh, SO long. I’ve been writing for my friend’s (amazing!) site, http://www.allthingsformom.com, so I’ve been slacking off here.
But I wanted to share something I’ve been challenged with recently: the fear of the Lord.
How many times have you seen a child hit their parent? Or perhaps you’ve witnessed a child speak in a demeaning or disrespectful tone to another adult? Or maybe you’ve looked on as a teen blatantly disregarded the rules so he could be in the in-crowd? Where is the fear of consequence!? Where is the fear of their parents!?
Where is the fear of the Lord?
What is the “fear of the Lord”? It’s talked about all over Scripture, especially in the book of Proverbs. We are told that the “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 1:7), that “the fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom” (Prov. 15:33), and even that a woman who “fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov. 31:30)
Whenever I think of the fear of the Lord, I’m immediately reminded of C.S. Lewis’ series, The Chronicles of Narnia, where the Lord is symbolically paralleled with the mighty lion-ruler, Aslan. When asked if Aslan is safe, one of the Narnian creatures replies, “Safe? Course he isn’t safe! But he’s good.”
We’ve talk to Rae about how God is the strongest, most powerful being in the whole universe and that he can do anything he wants. She’s asked, after reflecting on this, “Can he kill me?” To which we honestly reply “Yes, he can.” She–WE–should fear him in this sense of being “afraid.” God is not to be mocked. He is holy–perfect, unique, and set apart. We should not casually speak His name nor talk about Him flippantly. We must fear Him–fear His wrath, His perfection, His jealousy. We must fear Him because He is God.
But this fear also brings comfort. When Rae is scared at night, who else should we call on but the Lord to protect her? If He is mighty and powerful, then He is certainly able to save her from the monster hiding behind her curtain! If we truly fear Him, then we can also trust Him. If we know His character–His righteousness and justice–then we fear Him because of this, but we trust Him for the same reason.
So often we are ruled by fear of other things. Fear of Man takes priority over fear of the Lord. We fear what Man will think or what Man will say or what Man will do. This should not be! When my child disobeys me in a store–in front of thirty people–my thoughts should not reflect worries about what others are thinking about me or my child! No! My thoughts should instead revolve around my fear of the Lord and the desire to teach my child to fear Him as well! If I worry and obsess about what Man thinks, my child will come to see that I am a fool and a hypocrite. Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”
Or sometimes we fear circumstances. And as a result, instead of obeying and doing what we know God has asked us to do, we list excuse after excuse to try to alter His will! Instead of trusting, we worry. Instead of faith, we fret. Instead of being open to radical callings, we resist with barriers and boxes that keep us familiar and safe.
OH, that I would FEAR the LORD! That by fearing Him, I would trust Him more and glorify Him…and teach my children to do the same! That by fearing Him alone, I would gain the wisdom promised in Proverbs, and be able to teach this to my children.
“The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied” (Prov. 19:23)