Summary: We will discuss briefly what it looks like to fear the Lord our God that we might be partakers of His secrets.
JANUARY 16, 2000
THE FEAR OF THE LORD
WHAT A GREAT IDEA, THAT IF WE SIMPLY FEAR GOD HE WILL TELL US HIS SECRETS.
PROPOSITION: Whatever it is that you fear the most will dictate how you will live your life.
I’d like to give you an example... i know it is a bit silly but i have thought it over and it is the best I can do for now. What if you were lost out in the middle of the ocean without a life jacket. Your chief fear is drowning. So that fear dictates how you live your life. You do everything in your power to stay afloat. Now suppose with me that just a week ago you had been watching the Discovery Channel and they had a special about this 18 inch cockroach that swam in the ocean and ate people’s faces. (of course there is really no such animal) If you saw this creature swimming toward you then your chief fear would go from drowning to being eaten by a cockroach. you would now have a new fear to dictate your living. What if in the midst of all of this you heard that eerie music and a dorsal fin of a 24 foot great white shark pierced the surface of the water. Suddenly drowning and being eaten by a cockroach have taken backseats to being mauled by this massive shark. Now here you have an even greater fear that will dictate how you live your life.
So then i contend that as long as our greatest fear is how we will meet the bills next month or when we will be married, or if we have enough groceries for tomorrow, or if we are popular, then those things will dictate how we live our lives. It is not until our chief fear is the Fear of the LORD that we will live our lives fully for God.
Some people think that to fear God simply means to respect Him but it is clear through scripture that this idea of respecting God undermines the true meaning and depth of what it means to fear God.
Jonah 1:17 (quickview)  do you think it was respect Jonah had for God when he was swallowed up by the great fish. Think about this story for a moment. You have heathen sailors harboring Jonah a man who is fleeing the living God. God brings a great storm up on the waters and begins to dash this boat to pieces. Eventually the men are told by Jonah that they should throw him overboard. When they do the waters become calm and the storm disipates. The heathen men then bow down and worship God! They even offer sacrifices to Him. This is not a result of respect but of Holy Fear. Jonah meanwhile is in the great deep in the belly of a fish. Do you think that Jonah was thinking to himself "man, i sure have a lot of respect for that God." No. I believe rather that Jonah had a Holy Fear of the Lord God.
Or consider the passage in Exodus 20:18-21 (quickview)  the people believe that if they go near the mountain of God they will die, this is not simply respect. It is not only a respect that they hold for God but rather a Holy Fear.
Think about it in this respect. NASA calls you up and says they want to train you to send you into space for a new mission. What an exciting prospect. Then the NASA dude proceeds to tell you that they want to send you to the SUN! Directly into the burning ball of fire! It is not out of respect for the sun that you will turn down the offer; rather it is because you fear for your life. You know that the closer you get to the sun the hotter it will get and you will eventually be consumed. We respect what the sun can do on a hot day so we put on sunblock. But to be sent into the sun goes so far beyond sunblock... so much beyond respect. To be sent to the sun is fear. This is much the same in our spiritual life. So often we are content to just respect God. Just like a sunburn, we may have signs that show we have encountered God, but we really very seldom fear God anymore. Everytime someone in the Bible saw God their response what fear that they might die. If not that then they fell down in worship of Mighty God. The closer we draw to the SON the more likely you are to be consumed. This is the God we are to fear. And we must fear Him if we expect Him to share with us His secrets, His very covenants.