I know. This is scary season. I’m reminded of the Bill Cosby bit about how he wasn’t supposed to listen to the Horror stories on the radio. “Scare me to death. Scare me to death!” Next week I’ve got some articles about fear and its negative effects, but for today, I want to share about the fear that Christians are supposed to keep at all times.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Psalm 111:10 Tweet this!
This verse, in its original language, says that wisdom itself begins with fear of God. It refers to the reverence for the Lord and an unwillingness to offend Him.
But wait a minute. God is Father. Abba. Daddy. We don’t have to worry about offending Him, right?
God is indeed all of those things and He urges us to come boldly to His throne with our requests. (Hebrews 4:15) But His character description also includes Almighty, Holy, Omniscient. We’re supposed to walk humbly before Him. (Micah 6:8)
In all honesty, there are countless verses that deal with the way we are supposed to honor our Heavenly Father and all areas point to a reverence, awe, respect, and submission to Him. Maybe the best lessons from scripture are for the times when the people didn’t respect the Lord.
When King David triumphantly brought the ark of the covenant up from the Philistines, he disregarded God’s specific instructions in Leviticus 4. Instead of having it carried by men on strong poles, he had an ox pulling it on a cart. The cart carrying the ark teetered, so a man (likely a friend of David to have such a position) put his hand on the ark to stabilize it and died immediately. He wasn’t doing anything wrong really, but didn’t pay attention to God’s directions. (I think it was as much a judgement of David, who should have made sure he knew the rules, as the man who actually died.
In another instance, Ananias and Sapphira claimed they were donating the full amount collected from some land they sold. This was their donation; they could make the amount for anything they wanted, but they decided to lie about their charity. They kept some of the money back for themselves and simply claimed that what they were giving was all of it. Their gift seemed to come from a desire to show off. But they attempted to lie to God Himself, ignoring the fact that He knows everything and disregarding His holiness. I think God made a statement when they died immediately. I’m betting a holy terror fell on all the followers at that point!
So while we are not supposed to be scared, we should have a constant recognition of Who God is and who we are under Him in order to live daily in reverence.
Your turn: What other verses or stories would you include with this lesson?