Scary YHWH, Ignorant People

As a (young) Christian I found the command to “fear The Lord” troublesome and kind of repugnant. The whole “God is love” thing didn’t mesh well with it. It sounded too threatening.

This morning I was reading in Acts and came across this verse which reminded me of my old aversion:

“Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Acts 10.40-41

Seminary was good for me in so many ways, and studying the Old Testament, especially the Psalms and Proverbs, proved to be especially good.

In the Proverbs you hear “fear The Lord” and “fear of The Lord” used over and over and always associated with wisdom and knowledge and instruction. In fact, wisdom and knowledge and fearing The Lord are always tied together and sometimes used interchangeably.

So fearing The Lord is knowing Him and having an understanding of Him and His character. Reading your Bible gives you understanding of God, and understanding produces awe. And fear then isn’t some abstract knee-shaking response we have to muster. Fear is reverence born out of knowledge and understanding.

Fearing The Lord turns out to be something quite different than being merely scared of His enormity knowing we are mere dust in His presence. Fearing the Lord is a beautiful thing that produces assurances of His love and goodness, strength and might, Holiness and mercy.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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