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The Fear of The Lord, part 3
A few years ago, there was a special on TV for Billy Graham’s 95th birthday. Dr. James Dobson was being interviewed about the first time he met him. He said he was part of the group of ministers who were invited to sit on the platform of the crusade. When Billy Graham entered James stood to his feet to greet him by saying, “It’s so nice to meet you Dr. Graham.” Dr. Graham responded, “Please just call me Billy.” Dobson said, “I had so much respect for him that I just couldn’t call him Billy.” FearWe are basically going to do a little word study on this subject. I want to give you a few different perspectives on what it is to fear God. The first word we are going to look at is “fear,” from Acts 9:31, the church was living in the fear of God. This is the Greek word in Acts 9:31 “phobos” from which we get phobia. It basically means fear and terror. We naturally dread things that provoke terror. Phobic reactions are instinctive. This is not a mythical tool to enhance God’s awfulness [awe-fullness] – This is talking about the kind of reaction we should have both physically and spiritually when we are in the presence of God. Our experience with God is to be incredibly ‘awe-filled.’ When the disciples were on the sea with Jesus, He stilled the winds and calmed the storm, and Mark notes, “And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, ‘Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!’” (Mark 4:41). This is not a fear of the storm, but a fear of Jesus Himself. We would not be flippant in the presence of One who can stop the wind. There would be no jesting, “Hey Jesus, now that you stopped the wind let’s see if you can move that mountain.” You would most likely have a reverence for someone with those capabilities. John Murray says, “The fear of God is the soul of godliness.” Remember how Paul urged obedience on the believers at Philippi. They were to work out their salvation with ‘fear and trembling’ (Philippians 2:12). The fear of God is the living and motivating principle of a godly life. It is the wellspring of all godly desires and aspirations. Now I want us to look at the word fear in the Hebrew language found in verses like Deuteronomy 10:12… “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God.” The word fear has a range of meaning in the Scriptures. Sometimes it refers to the fear we feel in anticipation of some danger or pain, but it can also mean “awe” or “reverence.” The Hebrew word for fear is “yir’ah.” In this latter sense, yir’ah includes the idea of wonder, amazement, mystery, astonishment, gratitude, admiration, and even worship, (like the feeling you would get when gazing from the edge of the Grand Canyon). That feeling of worship gets misdirected by those who do not know the Lord. They look with awe at the majesty of a snow-covered mountain and just know that there is something there worthy of worship but since they don’t know the creator they worship creation. However, for the Christian the “fear of the LORD” includes an overwhelming sense of the glory, worth, and beauty of the One True God when we see the beauty and majesty of creation.
Medication (because laughter is the best medicine) Young husband: "Why can't you make bread like my mother does?" Young bride: "Why can't you make dough like my father does?" God Bless,
Pastor Brad Verse of the week: 1 Corinthians 15:58 Today's Bible reading(s): Isaiah 64 - 66