Thursday, February 09, 2006
Fear and Trembling; Grace and Love
It is a matter of remaining in awe...
And how can we not? The Almighty God demands awe simply by His name!
I confess that in my arrogance and pride, the fear of the Lord which is so evident in Scripture, is something I don't have.
Yet in this confession I sense this fear within me--the proper fear of His power and the reverence of His majesty.
In a very outdated statement of purpose on my website, the words quoted from Proverbs 1:7 continue to ring bells of truth in my ears:
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge..."
I trust this not to be just a knowledge of useless facts or trivia, but as the context provides, a knowledge that connotes wisdom and a proper understanding of the things of God. A real fear of God--a Scriptural fear--allows us to come to the knowledge of our sins and see His love for us through the provision of Jesus Christ. This fear should and can only lead us to brokenness before the Lord, crying at the foot of the Cross.
"Be gracious to me, O God..." was how David opened his famous psalm of confession and pleading. David was definitely in the need of God's grace and forgiveness as he knew his sins were against God alone. In confessing any wrong to anyone in our lives, is there not even the slightest bit of fear and hesitancy in doing so? Yes, there is sadness, but the throbbing, constant beating of the heart is a nervousness caused by fear of confessing a wrong against someone. Even moreso should it be then for us in front of God--the One who gives and takes away; the One who could destroy all creation in a single breath. Although He knows already, we use that as an excuse and in turn attempt to hide our sins from Him. Confession and forgiveness begin not with sadness, but with a fear of the Lord that leads to brokenness. Therefore, it is in fear and brokenness where true confession takes place.
Also written in Scripture is for us to "work out our salvation in fear and trembling." This reverential fear causes us to fall to our knees with out faces planted in the ground, praising our Lord Jesus Christ for His majesty and glory. My salvation is solely dependent on the truth of His gospel which grants me freedom from sin through His death and everlasting life through His resurrection. In recognizing this and knowing that Jesus Christ is risen, is exhalted, and is seated at the right hand of the Father--how can I not be with fear and trembling? I have a very close, awesomely scary, extremely personal, amazingly frightening relationship with my Savior, my King!
This fear brings me to love; this fear must bring me to love. The God of heaven and earth, the Ruler and King over everything, loves me. I fear God because He is God. I love God because He first loved me. David knew that God's grace is in accord with His love, and sought Him out under this truth. I love Him because the fear of His power and reverence for His great majesty leads me to realize that even in His greatness He has chosen to extend His mercy, grace, and love toward me, a sinner among a world of sinners, through giving His only Son to become sin for me, so that His justice, His wrath, may be executed the only way He knows how--perfectly.
By His Grace...For His Glory