“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
The Israelites, in yesterday’s post, Fear and Knowledge, trembled at the power, might, and glory of God displayed on Mt. Sinai. They feared He would consume them and wanted to keep their distance. Opposite to their reaction we see Moses. When invited to come up to God, He went without fear of retribution. He saw the same power, might, and glory. But his knowledge of the holy God understood God’s desire to make a way for his people to approach him, not flee him.
The Law explained the way writing the requirements on tablets of stone. Jesus Christ provided the way fulfilling all that was written. Now the requirements are written in the heart of each believer with the Spirit of the living God.
“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly
declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us,
written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God;
not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”
2 Corinthians 3:3
Faith in the work of Christ has written righteous across our hearts by the working of his Spirit in us. In His flesh He became our sin and our payment for sin. When His body was broken the power of the law of sin and death written on stone was broken.
“Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said,
Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you:
this do in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:24.
The next morning He was hung on a cross to take our sin and give us his righteousness.
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,
that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB
Before breathing His last, He cried out, “It is finished.” At that moment,
“when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
And, behold, the veil of the temple
was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;
and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;”
The way opened for us to come to the mercy seat of God.
“Having therefore, brethren,
boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us,
through the veil, that is to say, his flesh…
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 10:19,20; 4:16
Perfect love conquered the fear of death.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood,
he also himself likewise took part of the same;
that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death,
that is, the devil;
And deliver them who through fear of death
were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
Perfect love conquered the fear of judgment.
“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment.
He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
We love him, because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:17-19
The God who is a consuming fire is to be feared by the unbelieving for He has the power and authority to cast body and soul into hell. The believer’s fear differs. It brings us to bow down before him in worship and praise for He alone is worthy. There is none like him in all heaven or on earth. This fear honors him with a life surrendered to Him who loves us, paid our sin debt, gave us new life and poured the living water of the Spirit of Christ into our hearts. We are His letters not written in ink or tablets of stone but in a fleshy heart with the Holy Spirit.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service…
Jesus stood and cried, saying,
If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive…” Romans 12:1; John 7:37,38
What part does the fear of God hold in your life? How is it mixed with His love?