Fear of the Lord.

Thursday, 10/10/13

Today’s first writing is from the prophecies of Malachi which were penned around the year 555 B. C.. Jerusalem then appeared to be at peace, but it was far from well. Wealthy men, including the priests, had made themselves comfortable while showing no concern for the hardships of the mass of people.

The prophet was associating himself with those who feared the Lord. He wrote, ‘They who feared the Lord spoke with one another, and the Lord listened attentively.”

A lady from, a parish where I served told me, “I don’t care what you say about it, we are not supposed to fear the Lord, we are supposed to love him.”

Even though I never got through to her on this point, I am sure that fear of the Lord is a wonderful attitude to cultivate. In his Chapter Eleven, Isaiah enumerated the gifts of the Holy Spirit, counting them off as: “Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, and Fear of the Lord.” Then,  speaking of the Messiah, he linked him to Fear of the Lord, saying, “His delight shall be fear of the Lord.”

I have always seen Fear of the Lord as being composed of two elements. The first is an awareness of God’s presence, calling on me to live in reverence of him. The second element in Fear of the Lord is the powerful security and joy we feel in his presence. 

The idea of Fear of the Lord is mirrored in Roman’s 14:7 that says, “None of us lives as his own master, none of us dies as his own master. While we live we are responsible to the Lord, when we die we die as his servant. Both in  life and in  death we are the Lord’s.” What Isaiah added to that was that he found living in fear of the Lord makes for a delightful existence.

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