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.The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. -- Proverbs 1:7
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
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.