The Charge!

He who carries the Sword.

May you wield it with grace and mercy.

May your heart be filled with the power and love of God so that you have the strength to love and serve all.

May the Lord be your wisdom.
May He be your leader and teacher.
May your heart be humble and contrite, trembling at His Word and fearfully obeying His decrees.

Let the glory of the Lord ring forth from Jerusalem, that all may declare His praises.

In Christ our Lord.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” (Isaiah 52:7)

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The Fear of the Lord #6 – The Necessity

In the last post of this series I want to sort of extend on my earlier post on the development of the fear of the Lord. In your development, or as a result of your development of a fear of the Lord it is important to recognize why you should fear the Lord. I hinted on this in my opening post when I referred to Acts 9:31 and the fact that the fear of the Lord is required to increase the church. It is a motivation for ministry.

Persuade Men
Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too.” (2 Corinthians 5:11, NLT)
What do we persuade others off? And what is our responsibility to the Lord? Right, it’s our fear of the Lord which reminds us of our responsibility which is to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19, NLT) and to “teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you” (Matthew 28:20, NLT). The grammatical construction suggests that Paul is defining lifestyle. The Message paraphrases it, “…we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God.” Getting ready to face the Lord is a lifelong process. That approach to ministry, as Paul describes it, is controlled by a respectful reverence for God, who knows us inside out, and who knows our motives. We don’t want to pretend to be somebody we’re not, but to commit ourselves to being open, honest, and transparent with the people we interact with. Paul could see the need to persuade the world of the person and work of Jesus, and of his own integrity as a messenger of the good news. Everything should always be about Jesus and about the glory of God.

Let me close off with these two verses as an exhortation: “If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:4-6) “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

The Fear of the Lord #5 – The Result

We are getting close to the end of our study on the fear of the Lord. What we have been talking about so far is all good and well, but there should be a goal. This sounds worldly, but let me give you a quote from John Piper which describes what I mean: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him” and so what will the fear of the Lord bring?

It Will Bring Life
The fear of the LORD leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.” (Proverbs 19:23)

The fear of the LORD prolongs life, but the years of the wicked will be shortened.” (Proverbs 10:27)

Strong confidence
In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge.” (Proverbs 14:26)

Riches, Honor, and Life
The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)

Contentment
O fear the LORD, you His saints; for to those who fear Him there is no want.” (Psalm 34:9)

Secret knowledge
The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, and He will make them know His covenant.” (Psalm 25:14)

Blessing
He will bless those who fear the LORD, The small together with the great.” (Psalm 115:13)

I don’t know about you, but this sounds pretty awesome. To be untouched by evil, to have no want, to know the secrets of the Lord, to receive blessing. But it must be said as well that fear should always be accompanied by humility, and so this all sounds great, but it should all be to give glory to God.

The Fear of the Lord #4 – The Development

Now that we have established a basic framework for the fear of the Lord, by knowing what it means, why God commands it and why it is important, let’s get our hands dirty and start putting it into practice. How do you develop a fear of the Lord? Theory is important, but like faith, without works it is dead. Going to see a classical orchestra every day for two years straight does not make you a musician, right?!

The fear of the Lord comes through the Word of God. This is displayed in Deuteronomy 31:10-13, where it says “Then Moses commanded them, saying, at the end of every seven years, at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, the men and the women and children and the alien who is in your town, so that they may hear and learn and fear the LORD your God, and be careful to observe all the words of this law. Their children, who have not known, will hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live on the land which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.

The purpose of hearing the Word is that you may learn to fear the Lord. Yet we need to hear and/or read everything, we cannot be selective, because “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Yet we should not only read or hear the Word of God, we should also meditate on it. We should heed the words from God to Joshua, to which He said: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” (Joshua 1:8). This meditation on the Word creates a delight in the Word, as we read in Psalm 1:2, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.” This meditation will lead to a life of repentance and walking in His ways, according to Psalm 4:4 we should “tremble, and do not sin; meditate in your heart upon your bed. and be still” and this meditation means to “meditate on [His] precepts and regard [His] ways” (Psalm 119:15).

In short, without reading, studying, meditation and prayer of and over Scriptures it is impossible to fear the Lord. It starts with the Word.

The Fear of the Lord #3 – The Importance

So now we know what the definition of the fear of the Lord is, and that the Lord our God commands it for several reasons, but why is it important? Why should we fear the Lord? The way to answer this question is to take a look at the book of Proverbs and the book of Psalms.

The Beginning of Knowledge and Wisdom
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7)

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever” (Psalm 111:10)

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.” (Proverbs 15:33)

Eternal Life
The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true; they are righteous altogether.” (Psalm 19:9)

The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.” (Proverbs 14:27)

A Repented Lifestyle
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverted mouth, I hate.” (Proverbs 8:13)

If we do not fear God, we exclude ourselves out of the immense treasures of God’s wisdom and knowledge; we exclude ourselves from a long and prosperous life; we exclude ourselves from knowing the love of God that provides assurance and confidence; and we exclude ourselves from being motivated to repent and turn to God. I think it’s safe to conclude that to desire and act upon the fear of the Lord is important.