The fear of the LORD comes because of our inherent sinful nature which will not allow us to love God and to put God above us. The sin of Adam and Eve was to buy into Satan’s lie and to put ourselves in the place of God. The birthright that God gave to Adam and Eve was as stewards of God’s Creation. But they forfeited that birthright to Satan who rules the dark forces of this world.
(Romans 2:5 WEB) But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up to thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
God notes that the wisdom of this world is as a scorner (unrepentant) of all that God personifies. Unfortunately the carnal (sinful) nature of man concurs with Satan and against God. Thus, by our carnal nature we will rebuke truth, especially about ourselves.
(Proverbs 9:8-10 WEB) 8Reprove not a scorner, lest he shall hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. 9Give [instruction] to a wise [man], and he will be yet wiser: teach a just [man], and he will increase in learning. 10The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding.
Beginning of Wisdom
Note what follows fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. Acceptance of our salvation can only happen if we respect God’s authority. Accepting God’s authority is respecting His control over ourselves and others. Once we receive His salvation the fear gradually gives way to reverence (profound respect) in the knowledge of the holy and increasing our understanding of the Gospel (Good News).
The great difficulty is accepting God’s authority. Our carnal nature is like tree roots on the side of a mountain. They borrow into every hairline crack in the rock, the roots expand and create more hairline cracks. More and more fissures result unless drastic measures are taken.
It’s like this song about how we drift further and farther away.
We’re anxious to gain salvation. And like men we can check that box on our list and go on with life. So there’s two ways to look at the “fear of the Lord”. One is He’s exacting and is waiting to turn us into cinders. The other way is to learn to love the Lord as you would your father. Did you decide to hitchhike when your were twelve years old? How did that work for you?
Or you can just forget all the trouble and follow your carnal instincts. Does that sound like a good idea to you? And hope the Gospels are not true?
Though it is likely you’re someone seeking Jesus or have accepted Him.
Trust in the LORD
So let’s look at how to process a very counter-intuitive statement. First, let’s look at the verse that’s in the middle of the Bible.
(Psalm 118:8 WEB) [It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
When we were Baptized we confessed Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We acknowledged that there’s someone greater than ourselves. At that point in our life we committed to put Jesus first in our lives. But how long did that last?
Jesus Put God First
Jesus demonstrates two ways to put God first. But you may ask why if He was God the Son did He put God above Himself.
First, God the Creator and God the Son are one, but Jesus, the Living Word took on Himself the role of a human being.
(John 1:1-3, 14 WEB) 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. … 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
Second, just as in our position the Word of God became the human being Jesus and became subject to God.
(Philippians 2:5-8 WEB) 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus’ disciples spent three years with Jesus and yet were confused when He died on the cross, seemingly leaving behind what He had started. Jesus had not bestowed His miraculous gifts over nature to them. He died the death of a criminal.
Although Jesus had promised a comforter, they weren’t comforted. They did stay together, however, as they sorted out their confusion. The climax of their gathering was Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit (the comforter) anointed them and they spoke in tongues (human languages).
(Acts 2:1-4 WEB) 1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them, cloven tongues as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The disciples at this time had no fear or confusion. But they had an awesome respect of an all powerful God at this point. And that is how we should be. Staying close to God in good seasons and bad seasons of life. Jesus promised us that we would always be safe in His arms.
(John 16:33 WEB) These things I have spoken to you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye will have tribulation, but be of good cheer: I have overcome the world.
It’s in the trials of life that we’re often tested the most. But the book of Hebrews assures us that we’ll be blessed in the end.
(Hebrews 11:1-3 WEB) 1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which appeared.
Our faith is what tells us how close we are to God. That closeness comes from a profound reverence for God. Our reverence should include awe as we consider He created it all from nothing. And our reverent faith in God should sustain us in our trials of life.
Hebrews 11 goes on to describe the horrific trials persecuted Christians have gone through and still go through today.
(Hebrews 11:36-40 WEB) 36 And others had trial of [cruel] mockings and scourgings, and, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: 37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheep-skins, and goat-skins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; 38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and [in] mountains, and [in] dens and caves of the earth. 39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: 40 God having provided some better [thing] for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
Verses 39 and 40 are speaking of the end times when OT saints and NT saints will be raised from the grave on the last day.
Our African-American brothers and sisters have been sustained by the Gospel and the Holy Spirit through centuries of trials and yet still had Joy in the Lord. Just sit back and let the lyrics and mournful tones sooth you until the laughter and joy comes at the end of this song.
Job had issues with God during his suffering. God challenged Job by pointing out His power over nature.
(Job 42:1-6 WEB) 1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said, 2 I know that thou canst do every [thing], and [that] no thought can be withheld from thee. 3 Who [is] he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that which I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. 4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will ask of thee, and declare thou to me. 5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye seeth thee. 6 Wherefore I abhor [myself], and repent in dust and ashes.
God either acts or doesn’t at His will. Always considering the entire picture of a corrupted creation and a rebellious population. But if we give Him the reverence He deserves and draw near to Him in prayer He will still use us for good in this world if we’re willing to follow.
I’m just amazed that the Master of the Universe even cares about us, especially me. wayocross