My love of scrapbooking has recently led me to look into faithbooking, something I wish I had started ages ago!! As part of my faithbooking, I have been decorating little cards with my weekly memory verses on them, so that I can later incorporate the cards into my faithbook(s). Here is the card I made for this week (see credits here):
The fear of the Lord is not a very popular topic these days. I think that the reason for this is that some people have taken the idea of the fear of the Lord to an extreme and made God out to be an angry, mean-spirited scary monster. That is not who God is. On the other extreme, there are those who want to make God out to be a big happy grandpa type who spoils us, winks at us when we’re “naughty” and is generally there just there to comfort us if we’re sad and to shower us with gifts and affection, with no responsibilities on our part. This is not who God is either!
I don’t claim to have a full understanding of who God is – I know that I will never fully understand him until I see him face to face. But these are the two things I am beginning to understand about God: 1) He is not out to get me, he loves me with a love so deep that I cannot comprehend it and he wants to protect me and bless my life 2) He is completely Holy, and my sinful nature totally goes against everything he is. If it were not for Jesus’ sacrifice in my place I could never be in God’s presence. If I really stop to think about this, it makes me feel humbled, reverent and yes, fearful! Don’t misunderstand what I mean by fearful – I’m not talking about the kind of fear that makes me nervous, worried, or unhappy, but a healthy fear of God’s AWESOME power!
When I don’t fear the Lord, I put MY interests first. I don’t give a second thought to God’s will for my life, because for some crazy reason I start to think I know better than God! Once I head down that path my situation keeps going from bad to worse until I finally come to my senses and I realize how stupid I’ve been. At that point I am usually gripped with remorse and the fear of God comes flooding back to me. God is God, and he could choose to deal with me in the way that I deserve, but when I turn from my sin he has complete mercy on me and he continues to bless my life (that is not to say that some of the negative consequences of my sin will not continue)! This seems to be the wonderful mystery of fearing God – if you don’t fear him, you WILL have reason to fear him (if not in this life, then in the afterlife) – but if you do fear him, you will have nothing to fear :). There is great comfort in fearing the Lord.
Here is a nice list of the benefits of fearing the Lord found in the book of Proverbs (thanks to Mark Copeland):
1. The “fear of the Lord” is the beginning of knowledge – Proverbs 1:7
2. The “fear of the Lord” will cause one to hate evil – Pr 8:13
3. The “fear of the Lord” will prolong life – Pr 10:27
4. The “fear of the Lord” provides strong confidence and is a
fountain of life – Pr 14:26-27
5. The “fear of the Lord” prompts one to depart from evil – Pr 16:6
6. The “fear of the Lord” leads to a satisfying life, and spares
one from much evil – Pr 19:23
7. The “fear of the Lord” is the way to riches, honor, and life! – Pr 22:4
I was so happy that my Bible study for today was about the fear of the Lord, it’s a topic that I don’t think about often enough and I hope to learn more about!