Can Fear Be a Good Thing?
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. – Proverbs 1:7
A woman visiting the Toronto Zoo years ago lost her hat at the tiger enclosure. It had fallen between the outer fence, which keeps the people out, and the inner fence, which keeps the tigers in. She tried to retrieve it by climbing the outer fence and dropping over the edge.
A bystander captured the video of a tiger desperately running back and forth in front of the wire cage trying to find a way to attack the woman. But the woman was casual in her approach to retrieving her hat. The people were horrified, but the woman found her hat and climbed back over the outer fence. She did not fear the tiger.
The word fear in the Old Testament can be used to mean either "terror" or "awe". And so many people in our churches today have, much like that woman at the zoo, become so casual, distant, and detached from a healthy fear of the Lord.
But wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord – an awe-inspiring, even terrifying, understanding of who God is in your life. God is both fearsome and good. And we have to understand that both are true to begin to think wisely about His righteousness and His great love for us.
Pray that God would give you a greater awe for who He is in your life.
Questions for Thought:
How does having a healthy sense of awe of God lead you to a wiser understanding of who He is?
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