Posts Tagged ‘ Fear of the Lord ’

Groundhog Day, again …

While there may be nothing new under the sun, one constant we can trust is God’s wisdom. Get a taste at Proverbial Thought!

As I type this, the world has been reminded time and again about what groundhogs across the United States have said about the coming of Spring (or the extension of Winter). While the first official day of spring is March 20 (which happens to be six weeks from February 2nd), a lot of people are really wondering if there is going to be six weeks more of snow and cold or if it will come to an end soon.

What has been the primary mode for people reminding each other on social media of this grand revealing by a groundhog of the start of Spring?

Groundhog Day (1993) Poster

Groundhog Day (1993) poster, from IMDb.com

Talking about Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day.

The basic premise of this film is that a bitter man (played by Bill Murray) keeps waking up on February 2nd, the same day, over and over again. It is not until he learns to appreciate life that he can break the cycle.

The Bible touches on this, as well:

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9, ESV

The Bible gives similar, albeit more focused, advice for breaking the cycle of repeating the same things over and over:

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

But this life is not the end. As Proverbs 1:7 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” so we need the full story.

This little story out of Acts 16 (vv. 24-34) demonstrates where the fear of the Lord should lead us:

Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.

An Evolution of Fear … of the Lord

Proverbial Thought officially finished going through the book of Proverbs this past Thursday, but it will always contain great commentary and wisdom!

On a similar note, I receive a daily devotional thought every weekday from a great friend. What is amazing about God is that, although I have discipled him, he often challenges me in my walk through his short texts and helps me learn more about following Christ.

Also this past Thursday, he sent out a question as opposed to a typical commentary-type message. Today, I share with you our exchange, only I will put in some the quotes of each verse(s) mentioned.

Ok, so I would like input if anyone gets a chance. I want to hear what your take on the “Fear of the Lord” is. I am doing some interesting lexical study and would like variety! Check on Proverbs 1 [v. 7: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.], Isaiah 6 [note Isaiah’s response to seeing God and the message he is given], 11:2,3 [And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LordAnd his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.], Deuteronomy 28:56 I believe? Or 26:58 [Deut. 28:58: “If you are not careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God . . .”] … Anyhow, give me thought, ideas, beliefs! What does fear mean in these passages. And I can tell you they are all the same Hebrew word, Yare, with the primary definition: to be afraid of or fear (in the very traditional sense). But his many other peripheral definitions that include the likes of reverence, awe, and deference. [This link is for BlueLetterBible.com with a look at the Hebrew.] Let me know what you think!
My response is as follows. Please keep in mind, I am speaking from my studies and experience and not necessarily according to a specific theological system.
From what I have learned it can mean all of those things. I stand with the idea that we begin with terror of the One who can destroy us, move to a simple fear as we come to faith, and grow into a reverent awe (respect, love, and amazement) as we are drawn closer in Christ. As we consider the fates, if you will, of others, we should find a healthy mixture of all. He has given us, as believers, a responsibility over our fellow Man, so we still face some judgment, though no longer condemnation. The more faithfully we live, the less terror we will and should have (from dread to simple fear to deeper humility).
What say you? Do you have any thoughts on this matter? He was appreciative of my comments, but perhaps I need to continue working on my understanding, as well!