“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Nothing more true than this statement. But maybe we need to rightly adapt the word fear to express more clearly its meaning. It is meant to be an awe, or reverence, not the scary sense modern vernacular lends to the word.
One of the guys I am trying to disciple was recently reading an R.C. Sproul devotional that was categorizing the fear of the Lord between servile and filial. Servile being a subdued caution toward a perceived threat of the tormentor. This would be an appropriate response to thinking of the heat and hardship of eternal hell. (Sorry to bring such things up on a Friday).
But that kind of reverent fear is not meant for those in Christ. Those rescued from wrath for sin, those forgiven. We are meant for filial reverence. Seeing the Father through the lens of his love. In awe of his mercy and ongoing cherishing of His children. We might think of how great it is to have a Father, especially one that loves us (as proven by the provision of grace of the Son), what we receive. Or we can think of it from the Father’s perspective, the heart he has for us.
This idea is often brought to mind for me as a dad. My kids are something else. Each with their own personality and quirks, none of which keeps me from loving them. In fact, it is strange, but I can find myself smiling just seeing these kids be themselves. They brighten my heart, they soften my mood.
And that feeling (maybe only healthy dads can feel it) is what God feels towards you in Christ. You make his heart burst with joy. So much so that while we are at our worst he sent his Son to take our place in obedience and punishment. What grace. What love.
It is from the safe place of this love that we live. Reverence for the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, it is the beginning of all life. Praying that you have this in increasing measure today and forever.