Monday, January 7, 2013

Benefits of the Fear of the Lord

Proverbs 14 (NIV)
26 Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress,
    and for their children it will be a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
    turning a person from the snares of death.

First, we need to understand what is meant by "fear of the Lord."

“When either the Hebrew Bible or Christian Scripture sanctions "the fear of the Lord," it is referring to what Eugene Peterson describes as "a fear that pulls us out of our preoccupation with ourselves, our feelings, or our circumstances into a world of wonder." Not dread but astonishment. Not terror but reverence. Not shaking-in-your-boots panic, but enraptured-with-love fascination."

Thus we begin to understand why Scripture says: "Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him" (Psalm 33:8 NRSV). "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom ..." (Proverbs 9:10). "Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade others ..." (2 Corinthians 5:11).

The God who has showed himself in history as Jesus of Nazareth is not a thug who threatens and pushes people around. He is the God who creates such beauty in the world that we stand speechless, upholds us in our crisis moments so that we do not collapse, and would rather die on a cross than live without us.

Stand in awe! Fear his name! It is for your sake that he has given all.”

Now that we have a right discernment of the fear of the Lord, we can better understand the verses' meaning.  

The first verse tells us because Jesus loved us so much that He died for us He will be our fortress in times of trouble and a refuge for our children.  It is a great comfort for me to know that the Creator of the Universe will protect not only me, but my children also, against all evil.   

The second verse tells us that our fear of the Lord will be a fountain of life for us because we will be drawn out of ourselves into wonder and love for Our Lord, releasing us from the snares of death [". . .to depart from the snares of death; sins, transgressions, as Aben Ezra interprets it; these are the works of men's hands, in which they are snared; these are the cords in which they are holden, and so die without instruction; the wages of them are death, even death eternal: likewise there are the snares of the world and of the devil, temptations to sin, with which being ensnared, lead to death; now the fear of the Lord is a means of delivering from and of avoiding those snares, and so of escaping death." (Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible from].  
Another benefit will be that our self-centeredness will dissipate and we will become a fountain of life to others to save them from the snares of death for ". . .it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35 NIV)."

These are turbulent times and knowing that we have a Protector that wants to to shelter us allows us to have peace.  This will draw others and we can then bring them to The Fountain of Life, so they can have the same protection and peace.

Many Blessings,


Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Favorite Poem


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)
            A PSALM OF LIFE
                    SAID TO THE PSALMIST
    TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
        Life is but an empty dream ! —
    For the soul is dead that slumbers,
        And things are not what they seem.
    Life is real !   Life is earnest!
        And the grave is not its goal ;
    Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
        Was not spoken of the soul.
    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
        Is our destined end or way ;
    But to act, that each to-morrow
        Find us farther than to-day.
    Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
        And our hearts, though stout and brave,
    Still, like muffled drums, are beating
        Funeral marches to the grave.
    In the world's broad field of battle,
        In the bivouac of Life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
        Be a hero in the strife !
    Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant !
        Let the dead Past bury its dead !
    Act,— act in the living Present !
        Heart within, and God o'erhead !
    Lives of great men all remind us
        We can make our lives sublime,
    And, departing, leave behind us
        Footprints on the sands of time ;
    Footprints, that perhaps another,
        Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
    A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
        Seeing, shall take heart again.
    Let us, then, be up and doing,
        With a heart for any fate ;
    Still achieving, still pursuing,
        Learn to labor and to wait. 

This poem expresses how I want to live my life.  I've loved this poem since I was first introduced to it, as a teenager.  I hope it touches you also.