Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Learning To Fear The LORD

As father’s Day approaches, I am reminded of the safety of Dad. After all, if daddy is afraid, who are the children to turn to? The writers of the Bible knew this fact. That's why Proverbs 14:26 says, "His children will have a refuge," if Daddy has a "strong confidence." Daddy's confidence is the refuge of his children. Dads, the battle to be confident is not just about us, it is about the security of our children. It is about their sense of security and happiness. It's about whether they grow up fretful or firm in faith. Until children can know God in a deep personal way, we are the image and the embodiment of God in their lives. If we are confident and reliable and safe for them, they will be much more likely to cleave to God as their refuge when the storms break over them later.

So how shall we have "strong confidence"? After all, we, too, are little children, clay pots, weak and broken and battling anxieties and doubts. Is the solution to put on the best show we can and hide our true selves? That will lead to ulcers at best and God-dishonoring teenager-repelling hypocrisy at worst. That is not the answer.

Proverbs 14:26 gives another answer: "In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence." This is weird. It says that the solution to fear is fear. The solution to timidity is fear. The solution to uncertainty is fear. The solution to doubt is fear. But how?

Part of the answer is that the "fear of the Lord" means fearing to dishonor the Lord. Which means fearing to distrust the Lord. Which means fearing to fear anything that the Lord has promised to help you overcome. In other words, the fear of the Lord is the great fear destroyer.

If the Lord says, "Fear not, I am with you, be not dismayed, I will help you," (Isaiah 41:10), then it is a fearful thing to worry about the problem he says he will help you with.

Who are you to fear any problem, when God has promised to help you? So it is prideful to fear problems. And pride is the exact opposite of the fear of God.

So, yes, the Proverb is true and a great help to us. Fear God, dads. Fear God. Fear dishonoring Him. Fear distrusting Him. Fear putting your assessment of the problem above His. He says he can help. He is smarter. He is stronger. He is more generous. Trust Him. Fear not to trust Him.

2 comments:

韋成 said...

人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德..................................................

Steve said...

This translates...
People can not live like animals, but should pursue knowledge and virtue ........