Ralph's Daily Devotional - Wednesday, January 24

Proverbs 1:7: "The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom" 

Fear can often be a negative response, showing a lack of courage and trust.  But it can also be positive, depending on what the basis for our fears are.  If we had no fear of anything, we would place our hands in fire, walk into oncoming traffic and ignore warning signs that our bodies are ill.  When I was 3 years old, I teased a cat and was scratched.  I have since learned to enjoy them while also showing respect for their claws.

The "fear" Proverbs speaks of here is actually a merciful gift.  The person who has no fear of God will inevitably encounter a life of ruin.  Consider Pharaoh, whose lack of fearing God brought his nation into disaster (Exodus 9:29-31).  On the other hand, it was the the fear of the Lord that caused the midwives to spare the Hebrew babies (Exodus 1:17).  Moses chose leaders based on their fear of God (Exodus 18:21).  In Exodus 20:20, Moses tells the people that God has revealed himself in a fearful way that they might not sin.

The New Testament continues this theme in Matthew 10:28 and other passages as well.  This in no way should keep us from boldly and joyfully approaching our God.  The best fathers are those we respect as well as love.

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