Wednesday Word 10.11.2017

Ecclesiastes 8:12-13 New International Version
12 Although a wicked person who commits a hundred crimes may live a long time, I know that it will go better with those who fear God, who are reverent before him. 13 Yet because the wicked do not fear God, it will not go well with them, and their days will not lengthen like a shadow.

We dwell so much in this day and age on the love of God that never ends, that sometimes we forget that we are meant to fear our God, as well. What does that mean? How can we reconcile complete love at the same time we talk about fear? Do we obey because we are afraid or because we are so incredibly loved?

Again, we deal with the translation issue. Fear does mean fear the way we normally think of it. When I am surprised and taken aback by something unexpected, I may experience fear. Something so mysterious and overwhelming may cause me a fright. But in terms of our relationship wth God, it can mean all that and more. It means that we must maintain a sense of awe and reverence. We must never fail to be respectful. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I will think of My Heavenly Father as just that, My Beloved Father. At the same time, I know that he is the Great I Am, Creator of Heaven and Earth. I am just a little speck in the enormity of that creation and I must never fail to show the deference that is due him. Just like the old hymn, it does cause me to tremble when I try to imagine the height, and breadth, and depth of his power. Without his breath in me, I am dust (my freedom-granting favorite, Isaiah 40:6-8). Without his love and guidance, my very existence is hollow.

I fear the Lord. I fear displeasing him. I fear disappointing him. I know that I will do both daily, and for that I am heartily sorry. As filled with sorrow as that makes me, I know that I can lay those kinds of fears aside. My God and Savior loves me! Just as John told us, that perfect kind of love drives out fear because that kind of fear has to do with punishment (1 John 4:18). And that is where the Savior comes in with his perfect love to cover over our sins and weaknesses to melt them away and make us beloved children of God. It is that overwhelming love that leads us to obedience, not fear of punishment. How can we not long to serve the Almighty God…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki