"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom..."
In many of our Psalms today, we hear the mantra, "The fear of the LORD."
It is hard for me to get my mind around the word "fear" in relationship to One who has promised faithfulness, love, provision and care.
Yet, there the word stands and invites a wrestling match.
I try to sugar coat it and make it easier to swallow. Surely the writers of wisdom mean a companionable respect and reverence, don't they?
The word is "fear."
For me, fear has to do with terror. Being so scared that you either make yourself as small as you can so you can hide or you do exactly as you are told.
I would fear an assailant who had a knife to my throat. It would be hard for me to be rebellious when my life is in the hands of another.
Perhaps this is the reality I need to comprehend.
M., you need to fear the LORD. Your life is totally in the the hands of God. One word from the LORD and you are dust. One breath from the LORD and you are vitally alive and on fire.
The only two wise positions before the LORD are hiding or obeying--Hiding like a child behind the skirt of my mother because God seems too great or too powerful for me to bear, or quickly doing whatever is asked of me because God's will is fabulously great and I want to be a part of bearing it.
Some days I do want to run and hide.
"You are too much for me, God."
That is my reality.
Then on other days, I want to do whatever God wants me to do.
"I want to be great, LORD!"
I want to be a part of the powerful, awe-filling wonder of YOU, You who are beyond all the limits of me...
Way, way, way beyond me.
So wisdom begins here, in the fearing of the LORD.
And who knows where wisdom will take me...