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Some Awe is in Order

A teacher injured his back and had to wear a body cast under his shirt. It was not noticeable when he reported for work on the first day of the new school year. Walking confidently into a rowdy classroom, he opened the window and busied himself with desk work. His students became a bit unruly, and he admonished them. Their talkativeness continued, however, as he tried to ready his roll to begin class.

He also found that the strong breeze from the window made his tie flap annoyingly. To solve that problem, he picked up two large thumb tacks and jabbed them through the tie into the cast under his shirt. His students stopped talking immediately!

A little awe can be powerful motivation. That’s also true of our attitude toward God. While we shouldn’t be terrified of him, we should have a sense of awe that instills a deep reverence.

The Bible speaks often of the benefits of “fear of the Lord”. Consider just a few excerpts from Proverbs:

  • 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

  • 9:10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

  • 10:27 The fear of the Lord adds length to life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.

  • 14:27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.

  • 15:16 Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.

  • 16:6 Through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.

  • 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

  • 22:4 Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.

  • 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.

Our Creator wants us to enjoy life, prosperity, and contentment. His instructions show us the way to those blessings. Our “fear of the Lord” is what prompts us to pay attention, to realize that he is in charge and that he knows what he’s talking about.

God didn’t stick tacks in his chest to get our attention. No, he had himself nailed to a cross. Then he rose from the dead. That should be plenty to make us get quiet and listen.


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