Wisdom for Right Living

Day 2 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

  

Do You Fear God?

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C. S. Lewis has a dramatic scene where the children are talking with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. Mr. Beaver mentions Aslan, and the children are intrigued. When Susan learns Aslan is a lion and not a man, she asks, “Is he–quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

There are two things we must not do when we think of the fear of the Lord: First, we must not water it down by reducing it to respect or even awe. The Scriptures use the word “fear” with no qualification or apology. They teach us to fear the Lord. That, of course, includes respect and awe, but it is more than these things. Mrs. Beaver is right when she says, “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

The second thing we must not do when we think of the fear of the Lord is that we must not see Him as only fearsome, but as the kindest Father, who sent His Son to the cross for us. The fear of the Lord is only one aspect of our relationship with Him. Unlike many pagan gods, the Lord God reveals himself as a multifaceted person. He is Father as well as Lord, Defender and Protector, Redeemer and Friend, Shepherd and Guide, Abba and Emmanuel, and so much more. 

Mr. Beaver is also right when he responds to Lucy’s question about Aslan being safe: “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” We must not try to put God in a cage. We must allow Him the freedom his character demands. He is not safe, but He is good. 

We are to fear the Lord. With that foundation we can build a sound life if we follow the path of wisdom. Are we living in the fear of God? Paul charges us, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1 ESV).

Prayer: Most Holy Lord, help me to live with a healthy biblical fear of You. As I am warmed by your love, let me be awed by your holy majesty. Lord, let me tremble in your presence and bow with my face to the ground. You are awe-inspiring in your holiness.