LET'S START AT THE VERY BEGINNING
One of my wife’s favorite movies is The Sound of Music. She loves the storyline, the singing, the chemistry of the actors, and the fact that it is based on true events. In the movie, Maria taught the children a cute song titled Do-Re-Mi. That song reminds us to “start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” Truly, no one can argue with the fact that starting at the very beginning is always a good idea.
The Bible makes it clear that the very beginning for us as human beings is the fear of the LORD. It is the beginning of wisdom and the beginning of knowledge. The fear of the LORD is the A-B-C’s of life. In order to read, you must first learn the alphabet. In order to obtain true wisdom and knowledge, you must understand and practice the fear the LORD.
WHAT IT IS NOT
The fear of the LORD is not as it may seem on the surface. It is not being afraid of God. I am afraid of snakes in the grass and sharks in the ocean. That fear keeps me away and keeps me leery of those environments.
God does not want us to be afraid of Him. He wants us to fear Him. The Book of Exodus clearly defines the difference. When God showed up on Mount Sinai to give Moses the Ten Commandments, He came with thunder, lightning, smoke, and the sound of a trumpet. The people were scared to death. They did not want God to speak to them, lest they die. Moses’ answered, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin" (Exodus 20:20). Did you catch that? Do not be afraid of Him, but fear Him. Don’t cry out in terror, but fall down in reverence and awe.
WHAT IT IS
The fear of the LORD is a proper understanding of who God is. Moses said, "For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe (Deuteronomy 10:17). When we understand who He is, and who we are—unworthy servants before the great King—we humbly, freely, and eagerly give Him the ultimate respect and honor rightly due His name.
When a person fears the LORD, that person turns from evil … confesses and forsakes sin … obeys the LORD … treats others with respect … submits to authority … obtains the beginning of wisdom and knowledge … and experiences the blessings of God. I like how Adrian Rogers defined the fear of the LORD, “It is love on its knees. Those who fear God most, love Him best.”
WHERE WE ARE TODAY
As a society, we have tragically discarded the fear of the LORD. In pride and arrogance, we have replaced the infallible word of God with the corrupted wisdom of man. In so doing, we have become utter fools (see Romans 1:21-23). We are traveling full speed ahead in the wrong direction. Just as the Titanic was no match for the immovable iceberg, we are no match for the immutable God. As Jesus clearly warned, “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3, 5).
May we return to the very beginning, the fear of the LORD. As each of us starts to give the LORD His rightful place as King in our world and in our hearts, we can see our lives change … our marriages change … our families change … our churches change … our cities change … and our nation change. It begins one heart at a time.
Will you join with me in the fear of the LORD? Will you express your love for God on your knees before Him as His humble and obedient servant?
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, expressed these sobering words as he ended the Book of Ecclesiastes (12:13-14):
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
May we hear and heed.
Pastor Jeff Schreve,
From His Heart Ministries
P.S. I would love to hear your thought on this. Direct questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jeff Schreve believes that no matter how badly you may have messed up in life, God still loves you and has a wonderful plan just for you. From His Heart provides real truth, love and hope on over 700 radio stations each day, in 149 countries each week on TV, and is always available online. Pastor Jeff takes no income from this ministry. All donations go to furthering the broadcast outreach. As a listener/viewer supported ministry, we thank you for joining with us to help speak the truth in love to a lost and hurting world. Go to www.fromhisheart.org for more information.
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