Archive for September 13, 2018

The Bible says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. I’ve always wrestled with this verse and what it means. On one hand we need to stand in awe of our awesome God, and there should be a certain amount of fear involved in running afoul of His ways. We should fear living in such a way as to defy the God of the universe.

I’ve seen this illustrated in the life of someone I love very dearly who just stepped in to his first year as a full-time public school teacher. When he corrects a student, they will say things like “Make me.” When I was in school, that would have been followed by a swift and painful response, which of course has been taken off the table. We think we have evolved so much as a society, but truth be known, we’re not doing these kids any favors. Sooner or later they will come up against someone who is not bound by the rules of polite society who will in fact “make them” or their out and out rejection of authority will make society “make them” with incarceration or other penalties. Kids would do far better learning this at a young age from people who have their best interests at heart, you know like parents, and if not parents, teachers, but this will not happen and our society is already beginning to reflect our failure. A healthy fear of authority is truly wisdom and we fail to teach this at our peril. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Oh that we would embrace wisdom again, rather than the foolishness of “conventional wisdom” which in our day is neither.

But there is another side of this verse. A negative side whereby people regard the Lord with terror. They see the power of the Lord but do not see His benevolent love. I had a great illustration of this last night. I was returning to my parsonage from Bible Study. I pulled into the garage to discover a Katydid sitting on the windshield wiper. I don’t really like bugs, but this guy was doing no harm, so I decided to catch him and release him back into the great outdoors. Well of course he saw me coming at him and he flew. I couldn’t catch him because he was afraid.

Now don’t get me wrong, I get it. I probably outweigh him by thousands of times, and tower over him, and if I saw something of similar proportions coming at me, no doubt I would run and hide, too, but here’s the thing. My intention was entirely benevolent. Had I captured him, he would have been in my hand for five seconds, and this morning he would be out doing all the things Katydids do, probably eating grass. Instead he is hidden somewhere in my garage, and before long he will starve. Had his fear not overcome him, he would be in a much better state than he is this morning. As I was thinking of this, I wondered is this another side to the idea of the fear of the Lord. Not so much fearing the Lord, but fear that is from the Lord. After all, there are times where fear is good and right and justified, but there are other times where something we fear is actually meant for our good and is a great blessing—overcome a little fear and receive a great blessing in return.

So what do you fear today. Is it justified or are you running from something that is meant for your good?