The Fear of the Lord Keeps Us Safe

March 26, 2013 | Tags: , , ,

The fear of the Lord
is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and discipline.

-Proverbs 1:7

What does it mean to have “the fear of the Lord?” And how is this “the beginning of knowledge?” The HCSB Study Bible commentary is a great help. “The fear of the Lord involves awe, reverence, love, and trust in God. It accompanies knowledge, humility, obedience, and blessing. The beginning is what must come first, the prerequisite; is is also the chief or supreme principle” (p. 1031).

In order to understand God, we must first understand that He means what He says in His Word. Once we begin to get this, we begin to acquire knowledge. We begin to trust His love and His righteousness. We see that He does bring discipline on us when we disobey. This, my friends, is a blessing. It keeps us safe.

My small children, like all children, find themselves in positions to disobey mommy and daddy. They think, “I can do this thing, and no one will know.” But then the next thought is, “But if mommy and daddy do find out, I will get in trouble. They told me not to do this. And last time I did something I wasn’t supposed to do, I got in trouble. I don’t think I’m going to do this, because I don’t want to get in trouble.” And they turn away from doing what they were tempted to do. The fear of getting in trouble kept them safe. It kept them from going down a bad path. They saw that mommy and daddy meant what they said. And mommy and daddy followed through with their discipline in the past, so therefore, the children trust mommy and daddy will follow through in the future.

It is the same with God. We are His children, and He is our Father. Like a loving Father, He watches over us. He tells us in His Word what we should and should not do. When we see He is serious, we have a fear of the Lord. It is the beginning of knowledge. It keeps us safe. There will be consequences when we disobey His Word.

Like my own small children, I have been tempted many times to disobey God. I’ve been tempted to think, “It doesn’t really matter if I don’t do this little thing. It seems so small and insignificant.” But then right away, the fear of the Lord kicks in. God places a Bible verse in my mind to remind me He is serious about my obedience to Him. He reminds me that His way is always the way to peace. It will always go well, in the long run, if I obey Him. And conversely, it will always go badly, really badly, if I disobey Him. I have learned many things about God over the years, but this one is critical: He is serious when He says to obey His Word.

I know this is not a warm-fuzzy, particularly if you have been struggling in your obedience to God. But God is a loving Father. His will is that you come to Him and confess your struggles in disobedience and trust. Satan would have you think God is out to get you and to punish you. Beloved, nothing, nothing could be further from the truth. God longs for you to come to Him and receive His overflowing grace and love when you confess your sins. He longs for you to experience the peace that comes when you get right with Him. Will you trust Him today?

When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired hands.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’

“But the father told his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate.

-Luke 15:17-24 (From the Parable of the Prodigal Son)

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