Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Do we fear God? In our consumer driven please everybody culture the answer is probably no. Maybe the better question is, should we fear God? There are so many competing religions out there I think far too often we just try to emphasize that God is love. It is true that God IS love but, should we stop there? I think to have a clear and true understanding, whatever we can as humans understand about God, we have to also acknowledge that God is holy and God is a God of justice.

The implications of God being just and holy are not quite as palatable than the statement God is love. There is a perceived negative connotation to what follows for a holy and just God. It means there is punishment for not following God. It means eternal separation. It means there is a hell. (why I believe in hell, Francis Chan's new book, Erasing Hell does a much better job than I could do)It means that we can never in our wildest imaginations live up to the standards that are required to be in the presence of a God that is holy. While those may seem like negatives I see them as positives. If we try to water down God to a few palatable attributes we rob Him of who He really is and what that means for our lives.

Psalm 86:11 says: "Teach me your ways O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name."

The Psalmist is asking to know God more, to live more closely to how God says we should, all so he can fear God's name.

Why does he want to fear God's name? Maybe he realizes that if we dont fear God's name we will try to put him in a box at our level. Knowing more about God, having a better grasp of ALL of God's attributes, not just the ones that lead to warm fuzzies, is not something to be avoided but embraced. Knowing God's attributes is not the same as understanding them. Maybe knowing what they are and what they result in will lead us towards a fear of the Lord.

Proverbs 1:7a "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge"

Some people turn away from God because of some of the attributes that have perceived negative connotations but the wisest man that ever lived says that fearing the Lord is the BEGINNING of knowledge.

I dont fear the Lord. I should.


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