“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
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 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.”
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,
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.”
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.