Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate.  Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach.  For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.

 
 
 

Going to Jesus

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Thought for the Evening
1-08

THE REAL FEAR OF GOD, PART ONE

From a letter from Sister Donna Nelson

Pastor John:
I found these verses on the fear of God and was very blessed by what they said. I thought I would share them with you.


Proverbs 8:13 - "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil. Pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate."
Psalm 19:9 - "The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether."
Job 28:28 - "And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding."
Psalm 25:14 - "The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant."
Psalm 111:10 - "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."

Wow! I know you have taught it before, but when I read Proverbs 8:13 this time, it really struck me how good the fear of the LORD is. It is not just sitting in a corner being afraid; it is living without sin. The fear of the LORD is hating pride and the froward tongue. We can do that! It is clean and holy. It feels absolutely wonderful!

Oh, and a question. What does "the evil way" mean in Proverbs 8:13?

:) Donna
= = = =
Hi Donna:

The "evil way" is any way other than the way of righteousness. It is as Paul said in Romans, "Whatever is not of faith is sin."

May I add an additional thought to your verses on the fear of God? From Isaiah 29:13, we hear God describing backslidden people as being people who "draw near to me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men."

It is bad when a congregation fears God only because they know they ought to fear Him. And it is equally bad when a pastor demands that a congregation fear God instead of pointing them to the power of God, where the true fear of God is learned. Whoever that pastor persuades is farther from God than he was before because he is pretending to feel something that has not really been created in his heart by experience with God's power. People who have no personal experience with God and His power can only fear God because they have been persuaded to believe that they should.

Knowing that our children should fear God, it is tempting for us as parents to simply demand that they fear God and punish them if they do not, but this is an ungodly way of dealing with people who cannot fear God because they have never felt His power. The "strait and narrow way" is to live so that those around us may learn by personal experience to fear God. As we see in the above verse from Isaiah, for anyone to fear God simply because he has been indoctrinated to do so is insufficient. That's not what God wants. How can our children, or how can believers in our assemblies know the genuine fear of God without experiencing His power? Without personal experiences of their own, our children and others cannot possibly possess genuine fear of God.

That those whose lives are entrusted to us may have their own experiences and come to know God is what we should pray for. Dear God, help us to be the kind of people that lead others by example, and not by word only, to that place where they will experience the power of God for themselves. Then the cleansing, saving fear of God they express will spring from the heart.

Pastor John
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