Friday, August 18, 2006

... What does "the fear of the Lord" mean?

Rubel Shelly wrote a great little article about the fear of the Lord. I am including an excerpt below. It reminded me a little of a Christian drama presentation I saw a long time ago at Highland Church in Abilene. I can’t remember the name of the presenter; He is an ACU grad; does one-man-shows; has a video out about his stuff… Aaaagh…I hate it when I can’t remember someone!

Any way, the presentation was on man’s views of God. He went through showing how some view God as a sleepy old man that forgets things; He got the world going and then backed off and forgot us. The one that I remember being very powerful was the view of God as the Texas Sheriff who was always watching to see if someone messed up and then he’d “git ‘em”. Everyone would live in fear of this God. Live in fear and trembling… listen to how Shelly puts it:

“When either the Hebrew Bible or Christian Scripture sanctions "the fear of the Lord," it is referring to what Eugene Peterson describes as "a fear that pulls us out of our preoccupation with ourselves, our feelings, or our circumstances into a world of wonder." Not dread but astonishment. Not terror but reverence. Not shaking-in-your-boots panic, but enraptured-with-love fascination.

Thus we begin to understand why Scripture says: "Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him" (Psalm 33:8 NRSV). "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ..." (Proverbs 9:10). "Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others ..." (2 Corinthians 5:11).

The God who has showed himself in history as Jesus of Nazareth is not a thug who threatens and pushes people around. He is the God who creates such beauty in the world that we stand speechless, upholds us in our crisis moments so that we do not collapse, and would rather die on a cross than live without us.

Stand in awe! Fear his name! It is for your sake that he has given all.”

I don't know about you, but I think I like this undertanding better of the "Fear of the Lord".
(Here’s a link to the whole article.)


Jimbo said...

You should hear that said in person!! He does it good!!

Jim MacKenzie said...

I remembered his name: Curt Cloninger.

Anonymous said...

check out Psalms 130:4 for the true scriptural answer for the "fear of the Lord". Is awesome!

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