Volume. XXXIV, No. 16
Sunday, 20 October 2019


From the Pastor’s Heart: The Fear of God and Biblical Wisdom – Part 3


We have considered the fear of the Lord as the end product of hearing learning, and responding to the Word of God.  It demonstrates itself in the form of our obedience to His commandments, services to Him, love and affection to Him, and adherence to Him.  Today, we are going to find the traces of the fear of the Lord.

 

 

The fear of the Lord is in God’s Word.

 

One of the most beautiful passages about the Word of God is found in Psalm 19.  Psalm 19:7-14 says, “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” 

 

The word of God makes the simple wise.  Verses 7-9 show some interesting repetitions.

 

The law of the Lord is perfect.

The testimony of the Lord is sure.

The statues of the Lord are right.

The commandment of the Lord is pure.

The fear of the Lord is clean.

The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

 

Having read these verses, we cannot but have an impression that the fear of the Lord is only another expression of the law of God.  If we carefully read the above paragraph one more time, perhaps we can see this more clearly.  Psalm 112:1 says, “Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.”  The man who fears the Lord is in parallel with the man who delights in God’s commandments.  Such teaching becomes more consolidated in Psalm 119:33-38, which says, “Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness. 37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way. 38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.” 

 

The Word of God will be stablished in the hearts of those who fear the Lord.  Psalm 119:57-64 says, “Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words. 58 I intreated thy favour with my whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word. 59 I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. 60 I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. 61 The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law. 62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments. 63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.64 The earth, O LORD, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.”  Therefore, man who fears of the Lord is already immersed into the Word of God and shows great interest in keeping His commandments.  It could also mean that anyone who desires to grow in the fear of the Lord has a sure source he must go to find help, which is the Word of God.  All of these thoughts bring us back to the basics we must keep: read and meditate upon God’s Word.  Be eager to join Bible studies the church offers.

 

The fear of the Lord is an attitude in life. 

The faithful men and women in the Bible were the ones who had feared the Lord.  Such a spiritual attitude sometimes produced strange effects, too.  For example, Abraham lied and allowed a situation that his wife, Sarah, would be taken by another man.  The Lord intervened and prevented such a tragedy from happening.  Later, when Abraham had to explain to Abimelech about his act of handing over Sarah to him, he said in Genesis 20:11, “And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife’s sake.”  Abraham tried to justify his wrongs by blaming others.  He said that Abimelech and his people did not fear of the Lord.  Thus, they must be bad people who were going to kill him, if they would find that he was actually a husband of a beautiful woman, Sarah!  If we overlook this particular point, we may find another significant lesson from this passage.  It tells us of the condition of a society where there is no fear of God.  Abraham assumed that the fear of the Lord was the measure of its decency.  Or, he assumed that the fear of the Lord was a deterrent to evilness of man.  He understood that the fear of the Lord and societal behaviors were closely interconnected.  I would say that the fear of the Lord and social conscience are companions.  When we fear the Lord, we cannot but reflect it in our life and character.  It means that the forming of our Christian character is not through external reformations or behavioral changes only, but by internal and spiritual transformation coming from our attitude toward God, the fear of the Lord. 

 

Genesis 31:42 has an interesting expression.  “Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight.”  Jacob called God as the God of Abraham and the fear of Isaac.  In this case, the fear of the Lord is almost like a motto of the biblical religion.  Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, advised Moses to choose some people to share his burdens as subordinate judges in Exodus 18:21.  “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”  One of the qualities of such leaders in the nation was the fear of the Lord.  The fear of the Lord is a way of their faith and life.  In contrast, the foolish do not show this trait.  Proverbs 19:3 says, “The foolishness of man perverteth [twist, distort, or ruin] his way: and his heart fretteth [be vexed or enraged] against the LORD.”  Psalm 10:4 says, “the wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.”

 

The fear of the Lord is directly related to our understanding of God.  Ecclesiastes 3:14 says, “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.”  The power and authority of God humbles man to fear God.  Ecclesiastes 5:7, “For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God.” 

Lovingly,

Your Pastor

 

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

  • Please observe all parking signs. Council fines apply. Please DO NOT block our neighbours’ driveways & DO NOT park along the streets north & west of our church compound (on Bedford Sq.).
  • A friendly reminder to all parents of Sunday School children: please pick your children up from their classrooms immediately after the Worship Service is over.
  • Working Bee this coming Sat at 10:30am. Please come & help clean our church compound & have a fellowship time.
  • Lunch Duty: This week: YAF. Next week: Neighbourhood Groups.

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

  • God’s daily providence, protection & guidance.
  • Church visitors & activities in the past week.
  • Funeral Service for Bro Lucas Lee yesterday.
  • Journey mercies: Those who have travelled.

 

Prayer

  • Healing: Rev George van Buuren; Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); and others in affliction.
  • God’s comfort in grief - Bro Richard & Sis Margaret Pearson on the homegoing of Sis Margaret Pearson (Senior); Elder Michael & Sis Alice Lee & family on the homegoing of Bro Lucas Lee.
  • Infant Baptism – Zoe Ki next Lord’s Day.
  • University students as they prepare for exams; Year 12 students as they prepare for exams & for God’s direction for their next step in life.
  • Missions – Rev Sun Sokha & ministry (Phnom Penh); Pastor Vibol Uong (Cambodia).
  • Batam & Phnom Penh Missions Teams in Jan/Feb 2020 - preparation & planning.
  • Wisdom for Pulpit Committee – a new pastor for our church.
  • Journey mercies: Those who are travelling.

 

 

 

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063