“The Lord favors those who fear Him, those who wait for His lovingkindness.” Psalm 147:11
What does the fear of the Lord mean? When you consider the awesomeness and wonder of God, fearing the Lord is a normal response. It is an attitude of respect that acknowledges God’s identity as the Maker and Master Architect of life and history. A note in Zondervan’s NIV 2002 Study Bible says the fear of the Lord is “a loving reverence for God that includes submission to His lordship in all things and to the commands of His Word.”
One of the problems people seem to have with fearing the Lord is the sad reality that we don’t seem to think much about the awe and majesty of God. The crunch of life is so oppressive. It consumes so much mental activity that people fail to pause and consider the magnificence of God’s creation. The average day is so full we don’t stop long enough to consider anything other than the overwhelming tasks right in front of our faces.
Just this past week, I found myself needing to repent of embracing the temptation of the urgent. You know about that. That’s when the urgent press of life is driving your life instead of the promptings of the Holy Spirit. It was important and godly for me to pause for just a few moments and think lofty thoughts about Him.
Wouldn’t it be a great exercise to think about some of the creative acts of our God? For example, while donating a unit of blood the other day, I found myself squeezing this little yellow ball the nurse gave me to hold. I began to think about what it took to just squeeze . . . the coordination of bones, muscles, tendons, and nerve endings. It is an amazing process. If you have lost the capacity to hold something, you appreciate how incredible holding something is.
How do you even begin to comprehend how a hand works? Do you simply think about the four fingers and the thumb? No, there is much more. You must include the elasticity of the skin and the restorative power of the body to heal from a splinter. You must think about how each bone is precisely fit together to perform just the right function. It is an amazing process that man cannot duplicate.
Our very best collaborative, most brilliant minds cannot begin to create the complexity of a human hand. We have worked hard to make copies and we have made great advances with prosthetics but we are light years from the creation of something as wonderful as the hand that God has formed.
The hand looks so simple and yet it is incredibly complex. Isn’t that just like the nature of the Lord? Simultaneously, His ways are so simple yet He is magnificently grand.
I think some of the wonder of God has been lost by many of the yet-to-retire generations. Sadly, we were given a worldview that science enables us to view everything: Every molecule; every strand of DNA; the soil of distant planets. As a culture, we have come to believe that we, in our sophisticated knowledge, know how everything works and we have the capacity to modify or engineer so many things that touch our lives.
It has become acceptable in our culture, even faddish, to ignore the thought of a living God and relegate thoughts about Him to the dusty shelves of antiquity. Listen to the nearby conversation at the coffee shop or even the breakfast diner and too often you hear words that are about God but the words are not worthy of Him.
You will hear plenty of individually concocted ideas about how our human ingenuity can fix most things now and humanity given enough time will eventually figure everything out in a sterile environment of human kindness and sincerity. Really?
But you must also ask, what does science alone say to the couple whose baby has a rare cancer? Surgery? Chemo? Won’t that kill my child? Possibly. But what else can we do? Not that we shouldn’t pursue the best of the healing arts but medical science doesn’t have all the answers.
What do the engineers say to the family that just lost their home, their crops, and their livelihood to raging torrents? We could have done this or that but we never expected this. Our best engineering cannot control all factors of nature even with our myriad of computers processing the information.
All sciences have their respective roles. But science is not the God, not the God who formed the eye or the God who formed the earth or the God who understands the inner man more than any man understands himself. Science has a place in partnership to help people fulfill God’s purposes but it is not worthy of worship.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7. This God who knows, this God who creates is the God. He is worthy of worship and praise and service.
Today, push the “pause” button on your urgent schedule and think about His awesomeness, His creativity and His power. Let a sense of fear sweep your thoughts. Then know, that this awesome God who creates wonder is the same God who loves you more than any other (John 3:16).