Saturday, May 28, 2011
"A HEALTHY FEAR OF GOD"
Good Evening to All!
Today's Seed: "And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure". (Isaiah 33:6)
We would all like to have a treasure trove of stability and a stash of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge, but at that word "fear" we stop, confused. What does it mean to fear the Lord?
Fear has two parts--to be afraid, and to feel awe or reverence. A child who has eaten a forbidden cookie will be afraid when his mother comes into his room. His heart will race. He fears his sin will be discovered and punished, but moments later that same mother can use a batch of tools to fix his bike, and he will feel excited, surprised, and impressed that she can do such "magic."
To fear the Lord is to revere His name and to stand in awe of the ONE who created the universe and who has the power to sentence us to eternal death or life. The Bible often connects the fear of the Lord with obedience. A fear of punishment and respect for God 's power can help us do what is right. Keeping God's commands brings benefits to us, as well as freedom from the fear of punishment. A healthy fear means to love God and hold the Almighty in high esteem.
Israel had been disobedient and rebellious toward God. When they realized God's power and authority, they saw that he could deliver them. They bowed in reverence to the Lord. Through obedience they were allowed to receive deliverance. Justice and righteousness were promised as treasures! The key element was their fear of the Lord.
Dig Deeper: The word "reverence" appears in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Reverence comes from the Hebrew word yare. Reverence, combined with obedience, is a winning combination for believers.
Background Bulb: When Isaiah brought this message to Israel, the Assyrian army led by Sennacherib was attacking the city walls of Jerusalem or Zion. Israel had hoped Egypt would come to their rescue, but those hopes had been dashed. Isaiah's words would have given comfort. God was all the people needed. He would protect them and give them wisdom for living. Although Sennacherib overtook other fortified cities in Judah, he could not take Jerusalem. His army was destroyed, and he was later assassinated by his sons.
Sprout and Scatter: We all know people who use the name of God lightly; some may take His name in vain. The next time you over-hear a conversation in which someone is trouncing on the name or character of your Savior, come up with a positive way to counteract that person's speech by mentioning that Jesus is a personal friend of yours and you 'd be happy to introduce them. Say "God bless you" when a personal sneezes, or acknowledge a beautiful sunset out loud to the teenager who bags your groceries. keep your focus positive, and be nonthreatening.
Think about it: On a scale of one to ten (one being the lowest), how would you rate your fear (respect or reverence) of the Lord?
How can you bow in reverence to God?
Prayer Pot: Lord, I praise you for being my sure foundation. I praise you because . . .(Insert your own thoughts).
Take-Away Idea: A Healthy fear of God produces present benefits and future treasure.
Good Night to All and May God Bless!