Can FEAR be a good thing?
Ever wondered about the source of the expression “You can’t take it with you”? It might be rooted in this week’s Bible reading – Ecclesiastes 5:15: “We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us.” So, if the meaning of life isn’t to be found in the "stuff" of life, where is it to be found? Psalm 111:10 says that the fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom, and that all who obey God’s commandments will grow in wisdom.
Intuitively, fear doesn’t seem like a great place to start a relationship with a loving God. Brad taught through the first seven verses of Ecclesiastes 5 this week – centering on the idea of a healthy fear of the Lord referenced in verse 7 – encouraging us to develop a dynamic reverence for God. I’m convinced that when my relationship with my Maker seems lackluster from time to time, it is due – in part – to having become too familiar or perhaps too comfortable in my friendship with Him. When I rightly fear God, I remember how vast He is, how powerful, how holy and perfectly good He is. This fear of the Lord serves as a reminder of how I am to love righteousness and hate evil, as He does. If I am fearing God and living in obedience, I will grow in wisdom and have the opportunity to live free of negative consequences my own disobedience would otherwise unleash. It’s as if the fear of the Lord is a gift that allows us to understand God in a way that leads us to freedom – if I am fully engaged in loving God and hating evil, I walk in Light and am compelled to move toward others in the love of God.
God is powerful. God is good. To know Him more fully, I must have a sense of respect, for immense He is.
How about you? Do you think your meaning in life could be impacted by a better understanding of what it means to fear and reverence God?
“Fear God and keep His commandments, this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 11:13)
Laura Mulliken serves as Associate Director for Leadership Development