I pray you’ve heard from the pulpit about reading scripture in context. That means you, with the help of God the Holy Spirit, can discern meaning by reading the verses surrounding the one you are drawn to. Understanding or knowing Hebrew and Greek can help as well, but the two languages are similar in that one word can have multiple meanings. That’s when I turn to my trusty concordance to look the scripture up to see the sometimes opposite, sometimes varied meanings of the key word or phrase.
This morning, God woke me up with the scripture, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. The key word here is fear, and I looked it up in Strong’s concordance. Fear has two biblical meanings. One is indeed boot-shaking being afraid. The other meaning is awe or reverence, which is the meaning here.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
What this verse says is the a right attitude towards God is the foundation for right spiritual thinking. It also says that some hate wisdom and instruction and choose not to receive it. Solomon requested wisdom from God so that he could rule God’s people rightly and make right wise judgments. Remember the account of the two new mothers, one of whose babies died during the night? There was a dispute brought between the women as to whose child lived. It was up to Solomon to discern who was who. It was the birth mom who was willing to give her child up so it could live. That’s wisdom on Solomon’s part.
What does boot-shaking fear have to do with awe and reverence? In the new testament, God inspired the verse: “There is no fear in love. Perfect love casts out fear”. Believers know that God is love and that we obey Him because we love Him, not because we are afraid of Him. The word “perfect” is also translated as “complete”. No matter how long we have been God’s, only His love is complete.
1 John 4:18(NKJV)
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
Spiritual family, let’s live His love in as much completeness as God grants us. Let’s revere Him while not being afraid He will turn us into grease spots. One more thing: note that it is God who casts fear away from us. “Perfect love casts out fear”. Praise God for literally loving that boot-shaking fear from us.
Copyright 2018, Pastors George and Sharon Billington, All Rights Reserved