Friday, May 19, 2017

Wisdom and Instruction

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. -- Proverbs 1:7
The verse posted above is one of those "classic verses" everyone learned at some point in their walk with God, at least on the churches where I grew up. The thing about this verse that always stands out to me is how little we consider the word fear when we consider God.

Fear is something we associate we mostly associate with negativity. We should certainly be afraid of God if we we refuse to obey Him, but we if we love Him, doesn't "Perfect love cast out all fear" (1 John 4:8)?

We experience fear of the Lord for a variety of reasons:
  • Past judgement by God is seen as a garauntee of future condemnation
  • Fear losing salvation because of some unknown sin
just to name a couple.
We fear God because we understand that we don't understand Him. His ways are not our ways, and that causes fear because our questions can not be assured of an answer. Fear and faith are the twin internal reactions to understanding that when it comes to God, we must trust something claiming to be from Him, and as Christians, that is the Bible. We must trust that the Bible is true, that it is sufficient, and that it is instructive in our understanding of God. Let's turn our fear into faith by considering the following:
We fear judgement because of our sins: We have faith that God's plan for us is to be with Him (Revelation 21:1-4).
We fear impotence because we are finite: We have faith that we are immovable from the hand of God (John 10:27-30).

When we know the Bible, we know the fear of the LORD. It's our place for wisdom and instruction. As I become a better Believer and Servant, the more my fear becomes faith through the encouragement of the Word.

Monday, May 08, 2017

A Psalm to Consider

I am suddenly struck by a scripture, and I want to share it.
I'm always in the place this scripture describes, sometimes more than others.

Psalm 131English Standard Version (ESV)

I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

131 Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
    too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
    from this time forth and forevermore.
from: Bible Gateway
Three verses long, it cuts deep.
Some brief considerations:
Something has happened to the Psalmist, a trauma. He compares himself to a weaned child with its mother. I've been around children freshly weaned. Sometimes they don't take to leaving their mother's breast very kindly. There's much grief and tears, but if the child is to grow, they have to leave their mother's milk. From that point forward, the sustainance they get from their mother is different. Deeper than physical provision, they can be still, and know that even though what once was will never be again, there's better things, bigger hope, more comfort coming from the One who loves them.

When God takes the milk away, He's still there, as a mother with a weaned child. Holding us, comforting us, keeping our soul sustained.

Don't understand where your money will come from - calm yourself.
ISIS related terrorism got you worried - calm yourself.
Prexisting condition keeping you from getting healthcare - calm yourself.
God is still doing something even though you're not getting milk anymore.

Let your cares be carried by the Lord!