Meditation Journey Day 20
…then (and only then) you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:5 promises us the understanding of the Fear of the Lord if we actually do what verses 1-4 instructs us to do. We have learned from many passages that living in the Fear of the Lord is a blessed state for a believer.
Yet, the term “Fear of the Lord” is confusing to many because they do not like the idea of fear and God being associated together. In 1 John 4 we read,
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”
Let me defuse this confusion quickly. The fear John is writing about in this verse is the fear of rejection at judgment. When we understand what great love Jesus demonstrated at the Cross and all that He accomplished for us there, fear is replaced with confidence. The Bible tells us that Jesus’ death pays for all the debt I owe, satisfied all the righteous requirements of God’s Law and removed God’s wrath from me. This love casts out all fear of God ever rejecting us.
The Fear of the Lord is different. It is a reverential honor of God. It is the attitude of awe/honor and reverence that should emerge in me as I realize the great love, mercy, sacrifice and grace He lavishly pours on me. Fearing God gives me a deep sense of peace knowing His Sovereignty is working everything together for my good and His Glory (Romans 8). It is the attitude of humble joy that erupts after I realize the depth of His forgiveness for my sins.
The “fear of the Lord” is the proper “anxious concern” we should have of ever violating such love and grace.
There is a place for fear when thinking about God. To reject God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ results in eternal damnation. Even Jesus said in Matthew 10, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him (God) who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
So how does one understand the proper kind of fearing God? Do you remember what “understanding” means? “Understanding” is the practical doing of what God’s wisdom says. When we actually do what we are instructed in verses 1-4 we will be walking in the “Fear of the Lord”!
If I actually reverence God in holy fear then, I will be receiving His word and memorizing His commandments. I will be turning/applying/tuning my inner ear to be attentive to His wisdom and inclining my heart to doing His will. Yes, I will be crying over my sin. Hungering and thirsting after His righteousness. My continual attitude would be to search for Him and His wisdom as the greatest possession of my life. I would be setting my focus on the Lord to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind and body.
The more I walk in this disposition, attitude and behavior the more I “Fear the Lord”. The less I think, live and act this way the less I fear Him.
Simply put we understand the proper fear of the Lord as we humbly follow His Word and do His will. We end here with the words of King Solomon as written in Ecclesiastes, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.”
And this is how you become perfect in love!
Observation: The Fear of the Lord is part of the reward for seeking God. It is an attitude of awe/honor and reverence and a proper “fear” of violating His gracious love for me.
Interpretation: Understanding the Fear of the Lord comes as we do His will by living out His wisdom in humble faith. The more we do this the more we actually “fear/reverence God”.
Application Prayer: Father God, I humble myself before you knowing how inadequate I am to do Your will. My faith and confidence is in Your grace to work in me to will and the do Your good pleasure. (Philippians 2) Teach me to properly fear You as I walk in Your truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What is your take away?
I hope you will pray for me and all the others that are on this journey. You may also want to send me comments, suggestions or questions. I promise I will respond to each inquiry.
Thanks Neil this really clarifies the fear of the Lord. Love Joyce