The Beginning of Knowledge

“I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the Nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.
“Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little.
“Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” ~Psalm 2:7-12

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” ~Proverbs 1:7

After watch the movie “Amazing Grace” the other night I read the first scripture. I had been thinking about the things that humans have done to each other (slavery, abortion, wars, the list goes on). While reading the verse, “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling” I felt this awesome fear of the Lord, but at the same time, I felt His overwhelming love for me and the rest of His creation. It occurred to me that before I had always felt the two emotions separately, and viewed them as such, either the fear of the Lord, or the love of the Lord. But they really come together. It says to rejoice with trembling, even in our worship and love of the Lord we still feel His awesome power, and we should fear. The fear of the Lord provides the motivation for the things we do or don’t do, but the love of the Lord provides the hope we need to carry on. Without the fear of the Lord we would not have the incentive to stop sinning, but without the love of the Lord we would lose the hope of having the ability to change.

The next morning in our family “church” time we were talking about….. the fear of the Lord! We read Proverbs 1:7; without the fear of the Lord we can not know truth. To be wise, and to have the ability to discern what is right or wrong, we must first have a fear of the Lord. If we fear the consequences of judging something or someone in a manner that is not truthful, we are much more likely to take this seriously!

Another interesting thought is that in the absence of the fear of the Lord, other fears have room to take over. Consider our society, and the phobias and fears that govern peoples lives. After the 9/11 tragedy the public was in enough terror to give up many of their rights for bodily protection. But this goes even farther than fear of physical dangers or death. Many people are afraid of things such as certain relationships, not getting a certain job, failing at a project, letting someone down. We have traded a healthy fear of an an awesome God for a multitude of fears that take hold of our lives.

The Lord that we should fear and love reveals Himself to Moses in the book of Exodus:

“And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and fourth generation.'” ~Exodus 34:6-7