What is the fear of the LORD? This is something many of us have heard about in church or read in the Bible, but it remains an abstract thought that we can’t clearly explain.
If “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7), then it’s an important thing for us to understand what that means. Easton’s Bible Dictionary describes the fear of the LORD this way,
“It is a fear conjoined with love and hope, and is therefore not a slavish dread,
but rather filial reverence.”
(Easton Bible Dictionary)
So it’s not a fearful dread that creates distance. Instead, it’s a fear build on love and hope that draws near to God in worship, humility, and obedience. These are the three keys to understanding what the Bible means by “the fear of the LORD.”
It’s easy for people to pick on teenagers for having such a clear distinction between who they are with their different friendship groups. We all know someone who is totally different person depending on who else is around.
While it might be most obvious with teenagers, aren’t we all like that to some degree? Think about it…
- If your church friends saw you at work/school, what would they think?
- If your work/school friends heard you at church, would they be surprised?
God calls us to whole-hearted and undivided people who love and honor him. If that’s what we want, then it’s good to take a moment from time to time and recalibrate.
We can easily allow our “Christian life” to be expressed here and our “normal life” to be lived over there. Instead, what would it look like for us to live one faithful life? Continue reading
God desires more than authenticity. God desires worship that is right.
I recently read through Leviticus, and while it isn’t the most exciting reading in Scripture (and certainly isn’t as quotable as Paul’s writing), I was continually humbled by the details God provided for Israel’s worship. The sacrifices were taken very seriously. If the priest offered them in any way other than the prescribed way, the offering would not be acceptable to God. In some cases, the priests themselves were immediately judged by God for their casual approach to the sacrifices (here’s looking at you, Nadab and Abihu).
In a world of phonies, it’s easy to affirm the important of authenticity. The problem isn’t that authenticity is bad, but that we are often authentically wrong.
We must resist the urge to say that worship styles that are different from our own preferences is wrong, but we must equally resist the spirit of the day which affirms every worship style which is authentic.