Thursday, October 16, 2008

Learning about Fear

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He rescues them.” “Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” (Psalm 34:7, 11 CSB)

Just as there are different kinds of love, there are different kinds of fear. Some fear becomes destructive, causing us to hesitate when we should not. The Bible repeatedly says, “Fear not.” So, fear that leads us to hesitate in following what God has commanded must be overcome, and that happens in the decisions of faith and courage and commitment.

The same Bible, however, teaches us to “fear” the Lord. This kind of fear is not at all destructive. On the contrary, this fear teaches “respect” for God, and this is something that builds us up. The Bible tells us it is good and positive, and that there are great benefits from it. For example, the angel of the Lord encamps around those who “fear” God in this way, who revere God, in other words.

David helps us to understand what this fear of the Lord is. He gives some further explanation in Psalm 34, and basically, we see at least three aspects involved in the fear of the Lord. We might see these as admonitions. First, we are to watch our words. The idea is that we need to control our tongues and avoid speaking evil. Second, we are to choose the good over the evil. This is a decision of faith that honors God. We are taking our stand with Him. Third, we are to pursue peace. We seek it, we pursue it, and we live it.

Lord, We bow before You today in worship and praise. You are awesome! Amen.

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