Fear of the Lord

Hi cyber-friends : )

Just a quick note to say, I've had some SERIOUS prodding from the Lord to explore the idea of the "Fear of the Lord". So, I am. I would just like to put it out there to all of you, though, first, for your own consideration, second, to ask you to share with me- what does that phrase mean to you? What Scriptures come to mind? Have you read any books or articles that dealt with the topic? Heard any sermons or other teachings? I have encountered it SEVERAL times in the last few weeks (hence the prodding)- but the first was in the teaching Bruce Van Natta (Sweet Bread Ministries) did at a healing service at Trinity. I have been trying and trying to get that teaching up in the sermon archives for Trinity. If I ever succeed, I'll post a link. (the video is very large and my computer has memory issues... and that's just the beginning- but I digress)

I appreciate your input! Don't be shy :D

P.S. Has anyone read the book "Fear of the Lord" by John Bevere or "The Joy of Fearing God" by Jerry Bridges? Both in my Amazon cart and would love to have feedback on which one to start with.


Robin said...

Although I realize this might not make sense to anyone else, Psalm 46 is what first came to my mind. This Psalm was given to a close friend of mine when her infant son had been airlifted to Westchester after he'd stopped breathing. She called and asked me to look it up, so as I prayed for them I just kept reading it over and over. It hit me deeply, as God had given me the scripture "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10) at another difficult time in my life and there again I found myself reminded that He is in control and sometimes we're not supposed to do anything but just submit ourselves to His will. The rest of the Psalm reminds me of how strong and powerful our God is, and for me the "Fear of the Lord" stems from recognition of and being awe-struck by how awesome our God truly is...

From there I am just overwhelmed just thinking about who God is - and I think that the fear comes from a deep love and respect of Him.

At different times in my life I've felt that God was trying to tell me something - and that "fear" compels me to at least attempt to listen...

Last summer I felt prompted to pray for my ex-husbands sister (who had completely rejected me and cut off contact years earlier) over and over again - so I started praying. With no knowledge of where her life was at, I felt like He was telling me that something awful was happening in her life. It felt strange to pray for someone who had hurt me, but healing at the same time...and then I felt God was telling me to call her. Of course, I tried to argue with Him - stating the obvious that if she wanted to talk to me she would not have cut off contact herself etc... but He was not having any of that and I felt nothing short of a sense that I MUST make that call, so I did.

She answered the phone with a quiver in her voice and I nervously explained that I'd been praying for her and that God told me to call her and ask if she was alright (thinking that she might in fact just dismiss me as a nutcase, mind you) - and she broke down crying and said, "how did you know?" It turns out that her husband had just confessed an ongoing affair to her and she had been sitting in her room alone bawling her eyes out trying to figure out what to do next. We talked for a long time, and needless to say I hung up feeling humbled and a bit ashamed of my original hesitance to make that call.

This is just one of many examples of the Lord teaching me to love, respect, and ultimately fear Him so much that I will submit myself even when it feels unnatural, makes me uncomfortable, or causes me to run the risk of sounding crazy - and over and over again He shows Himself to be so much bigger than my small mind can even phathom. Over and over again I am brought back to verse 46:10 - He very much wants me to know that He is God.

Psalm 46
46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
46:2 Therefore we won’t be afraid, though the earth changes,
though the mountains are shaken into the heart of the seas;
46:3 though its waters roar and are troubled,
though the mountains tremble with their swelling.
46:4 There is a river, the streams of which make the city of God glad,
the holy place of the tents of the Most High.
46:5 God is in her midst. She shall not be moved.
God will help her at dawn.
46:6 The nations raged. The kingdoms were moved.
He lifted his voice, and the earth melted.
46:7 Yahweh of Armies is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
46:8 Come, see Yahweh’s works,
what desolations he has made in the earth.
46:9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth.
He breaks the bow, and shatters the spear.
He burns the chariots in the fire.
46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth.”
46:11 Yahweh of Armies is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Katherine said...

Amen, sister! Well said. Now THAT will give me some things to think about as I get to work.

I'll throw another out there, too- what is the connection between the Fear of the Lord, belief, and obedience. I noticed the "obedience" coming up as you were called to step out in faith and make that call. ... just a follow up topic.

Love yoU!

Heidi L said...

Great stuff, Robin!

Hi Kate, I was amazed after reading your post and call for input last night, that this morning when I read my Bible the phrase "fear of the Lord" was in the passage! So, I had to dig deeper. J

The passage this morning was from Romans 3:15-18
"Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know." "There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Verse 18 is quoting the Old Testament verse from Psa. 36:1 "Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts, there is no fear of God before their eyes."

The rest of the chapter articulates the wicked..., with whom “there is no fear of God before their eyes”.

-they flatter themselves with their own eyes
-their iniquity cannot be found out & hated
-their mouths are mischief and deceit
-they have ceased to act wisely & do good
-they plot mischief on their beds
-they are set on a way this is not good
-they do not reject evil

So, essentially, all of chapter 36 outlines "wicked" behavior which God aligns with "no fear of God before their eyes."

Is it too big of a leap to say that if you do not have the fear of the Lord, you behave wickedly?

So, it would stand to reason that if you HAVE the fear of the Lord, you would behave not-wickedly (or righteous) perhaps?

Reading on in Psalm 37, God articulates the attributes of a righteous person. Although the phrase "fear of the lord" was not written in that chapter, words like "trust in the Lord, delight in the Lord, rest in the Lord, wait on the Lord" are prolific.

So, do you think from studying these 2 chapters, we could say that having the "Fear of the Lord" means to "trust in the Lord, delight in the Lord, rest in the Lord, wait on the Lord"?

I think maybe those chapters were written on purpose to contrast those two ways of life: wicked and righteous. Perhaps we could say they also contrast living "without the fear of the Lord" or living "with the fear of the Lord”.