We’re afraid when we’re suddenly caught off our guard and don’t know what to do. We’re afraid when our presuppositions and assumptions no longer account for what we’re up against, and we don’t know what will happen to us. We’re afraid when reality, without warning, is shown to be either more or other than we thought it was. …
In the Hebrew culture and the Hebrew Scriptures … the word *fear* is frequently used in a way that means far more than simply being scared. … *Fear-of-the-Lord* is the stock biblical term for this either sudden or cultivated awareness that the presence or revelation of God introduces into our lives. We are not the center of our existence. We are not the sum total of what matters.
We don’t know what’s going to happen next.
Fear-of-the-Lord keeps us on our toes with our eyes open. Something is going on around here, and we don’t want to miss it. Fear-of-the-Lord prevents us from thinking that we know it all. And it therefore prevents us from closing off our minds or our perceptions from what is new. Fear-of-the-Lord prevents us from acting presumptuously and therefore destroying or violating some aspect of beauty, truth, or goodness that we don’t recognize or don’t understand.
Fear-of-the-Lord is fear with the scary element deleted.
God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
Psalm 46:1-3, The Message
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