Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

What is the fear of the Lord? 

It is the beginning of wisdom.

What does that look like?

It looks like awe.

          When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, we will realize just how wonderful He really is. We will be unable to fathom His greatness; and as we stand in complete silence, with no words to utter, we will feel the sheer awe of the Beauty of Holiness.

Let's look at Job.

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          Yet there was a missing link in Job's connection with God. Does Job know who God really is? Nope, not yet. By the time we reach chapter forty-two, he does know; but not before. 

          You see, Job's view of God was along the same thought process as Jonathan Edwards. God was someone to be feared, too big to mess around with -- too big to mess up with. God was -- and is -- the judge of the earth. "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Revelation 22:12).

          Because Job knew that he was perfect before God and that he did not deserve the misfortune that had come upon him, he assumed that God just did things because. But he did not lose his faith. He trusted in the God of his understanding.

"...'the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.' In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly" (Job 1:21-22). 
 "If I had called, and he had answered me...[I would] not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice" (Job 9:16).
 "Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me: then would I speak, and not fear him; but it is not so with me" (Job 9:34-35).
          But this was not God's plan: God wants us to love Him because He loves us (1 John 4:19). He wants us to worship Him because He is wonderful -- because He made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water (Revelation 14:7).

          Job's fear came from a lack of a knowledge of God -- from a lack of wisdom. Throughout the book of Job, his constant prayer is "That I may know Him" (Philippians 3:10). Before God blesses him, He grants Job his wish. Chapters thirty-eight through forty-one are God's answer to Job.

          Interestingly, God shares who He is by sharing His creation. He points to His creative power and says, "I am He." "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God..." (Revelation 3:14).

          Did you catch that? God is both judge and creator. Job was not entirely wrong in his perspective of God; he was simply misinformed. He could not see the whole picture. In fact, when God first presented Himself to Job, the servant of God cowered in fear: "Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further" (Job 40:4-5).

          But as God reveals Himself further, Job recognizes just how big the Creator really is really is. He sees God as a prism -- a multifaceted Person.
"Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee."
(Job 42:1-5 KJV, emphasis added)
          Job is in awe. He realizes that he had only viewed God from one perspective from what he had heard others say and teach. But now, he has seen God for himself. He has been taught of the Lord (Isaiah 54:13).


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"Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding."
(Proverbs 2:5-6)

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