I vividly remember the first time I read, “I should fear, love, and trust in the Lord” from Luther’s Small Catechism. My little heart started to pound. I had a moment of panic, wondered whether I’d mis-learned about God! “Fear?” What exact is the fear of the Lord? And, what’s the right way to fear the Lord?
Then, the other day I was going through some old notes and found, in my awful adult scribbles, “The proper fear of the Lord.”
Don’t you think there should be a strong Lutheran Bible study on that? Think of all the Scripture that could be incorporated! And, of course, the Small Catechism! It could be such a comfort! It could clarify the Gospel!! It could be a powerful tool to comfort certain fundamentalists and sure to sooth those who stumble upon all the fear language in the Bible.
So that’s the writing idea I’m sharing today. Hop to. 😉
Bible verses/topics (or similar passages) I’d definitely hope were included:
- Contrasting God’s command to fear with His “Fear not”
- The extent to which fear is an emotion, an action, a choice
- Nuance between fearing the Lord and fear of what indeed overpowers us
- How it impacts abiding in His ways
- The impact of the fear of the Lord upon our other fears (ie. we still are afraid and often need encouragement to not fear)
- As the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7)
- Its impact on temptation (Proverbs 16:6)
- As hatred of evil (Proverbs 8:13)
- Prolongs life? (Proverbs 10:27)
- Confidence? (Proverbs 14:26)
- Who will not fear? (Revelation 15:4)
It is language that comes up, and it’s language that we can clarify for ourselves and our future generations. Why not? Why let connotations drive us away from a Scriptural word and its related messages?
Food for thought, anyway. May we continue in the Fear of the Lord as the Holy Spirit leads us, and may we also grow in understanding of that fear and our ever-gracious Triune Lord.