Knowledge and Fear

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:

and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”

Proverbs 9:10

lamb of God

Did Jesus fear the Lord God? Think about it. If He did, shouldn’t we? Isaiah tells us Jesus, the righteous branch of Jesse (King David’s father), walked the earth in the fullness of the Spirit of the Lord. We’ve explored the Spirit through Isaiah’s writings in this month’s posts. Isaiah mentions the last characteristics of the anointed Branch in chapter 11:2.

“And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him…

the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;”

Without the spirit of knowledge of the holy, there is no understanding of the holy. Without understanding the holy, there is no fear of the Lord.

When the Israelites heard the voice of the Lord on Mt. Sinai, they gained first-hand knowledge of the holy. Their knowledge revealed their unholiness. They feared God and trembled. They saw Him as one waiting to strike them down(Deuteronomy 5:22-33). They saw only one side of the fear of the Lord.

Knowledge of the holy should instill fear in the unclean – a fear that seeks to be made clean.

“knowledge of the holy”

“And one cried unto another, and said,

Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts:

the whole earth is full of his glory…

Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone;

because I am a man of unclean lips…”

Isaiah 6:3,5

Isaiah feared to be in the presence of the Holy until his sin was purged (vs. 7) The knowledge of the holy reveals first our own sinful heart – the spirit we were born with. Once we grasp the knowledge of the Holy and believe it to be, we are in a place to receive his favor – his grace. The unclean sinful spirit should fear a holy God. For His holiness demands a new spirit born of the Holy Spirit of Christ. Without this new birth, we will die in our sin.

“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23.

This speaks not only of the physical death all face but of the spiritual death that lives throughout eternity. This death separates us from God and all that is holy and good forever. Knowledge of the Holy tells us He has a holy wrath. It falls on all who refuse His gift of holiness through the redemption found in Jesus Christ – the only name that can save us from God’s wrath and bring us into his grace. For He, being holy, is the only one worthy to take God’s wrath for us.

“But God commendeth his love toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

Much more then, being now justified by his blood,

we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Romans 5:8,9

Did Jesus fear God’s wrath? You decide. On the night of his death he walked to the Mt. of Olives with his disciples.

“And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying,

Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me;

nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven,

strengthening him.

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly;

and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood

falling down to the ground.”

Luke 22:40-44

King David and Isaiah describe the wrath poured out on our Lord at his death. I’ve included excerpts from both Psalm 22 and Isaiah 52:14 and chapter 53.

  • “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
  • why art thou so far from helping me,
  • and from the words of my roaring…
  • I am poured out like water,
  • and all my bones are out of joint:
  • my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
  • My strength is dried up…
  • my tongue cleaveth to my jaws:
  • and thou hast brought me into the dust of death…
  • they pierced my hands and my feet…”

“his visage was so marred more than any man,

and his form more than the sons of men;

  • he was despised, and we esteemed him not…
  • he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows;
  • yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted…
  • he was wounded for our transgressions,
  • he was bruised for our iniquities…
  • the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all…
  • He was cut off out of the land of the living;
  • for the transgression of my people was he stricken…
  • he hath poured out his soul unto death…
  • and bare the sin of many…”

The knowledge of the holy demands sin’s payment. This is his wrath poured out on His Son for us. If we do not receive his gracious gift, we will face his wrath. Do you fear God’s wrath? Jesus paid the price to free us from that fear. The choice is yours. Tremble at his presence or worship at his feet. The Israelites trembled. Moses worshipped. What is your decision?


In my next post I hope to look at another side of fear.

A Safe Place

As the summer brings camps, a mission trip, and busier schedule, I thought this appropriate to repost. Please keep us in prayer during this time.

“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” 

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Rev. 22: 14-15

“I wish we could just stay here.” The teen echoed a sentiment heard each year as camp ended. After being surrounded for a week with friends and adults sharing their lives and the love of God with one another, the world outside this safe place threatens the peace the teens found in discovering who they are, their deepest need, and the God who accepts them as they are and fills that need. They experienced the love of God poured into them and the freedom to express His love in worship. They understand the world beyond the camp driveway will try to steal their new-found peace. Here it is safe to believe the truth as revealed by the light of Christ and not be confused by the world’s dark version of truth. Here there is no fear.

We do not live in a safe world, but we do not have to allow fear to steal our peace. We live in the world but are not of it. Jesus speaks His peace into the world by placing it in our hearts. He says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27.

The peace Jesus gives calms our fear of a world seeking to inflict terror and unrest through the violence of sin-sick individuals. But Jesus tells us not to fear the one who can kill only the body but the One who can kill both body and soul. This fear is a reverent trust in the power, ability, and love of our God to keep us in His care, to be our safe place, our refuge.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust…Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;” Psalm 91: 1-2,5.

This doesn’t mean we will never face the terror of the night but it does mean we don’t have to live in fear of it. For God is our refuge, our safe place, our Deliverer. We can walk in the confidence of our faithful, loving heavenly Father as we follow where He leads us.
DSCF4721When you need peace or a safe place where do find it?