Even the word provokes something in me, a sort of primal emotion. My nostrils flare, my breath draws in.
Fear is not my friend.
Yet, the Bible teaches us repeatedly to ‘fear the Lord’. Over and over God’s people are commanded to fear him.
What does that mean? Is he a tyrant ruling with an iron fist? Is it simply a mistranslation? Why use the word fear?
On this topic I have found Michael Reeves’ short book, What Does It Mean To Fear The Lord?, profoundly helpful. Michael Reeves highlights the way that in the Bible the fear of God is a response provoked by his forgiveness, love and free mercy – we fear him because of his goodness. So, we experience this sense of both trembling before him, yet at the time being joyfully and irresistibly drawn towards him. This is the manner in which we ought approach the Lord on high.
Reading this book has helped me better learn how to approach God like that.
If you’d like to discuss the book further and think through how to apply it to our lives, then please join us for our Term 2 book club discussion on Thursday June 29. RSVPs close on Monday June 26 so please make sure to RSVP using this form if you plan to attend so that we know if there’s enough interest to go ahead.