By Cindy Koch –
In the middle of the night, in the depth of darkness, an old feeling may overtake us. It’s always been there, but hidden away for those particularly terrible times. It creeps from our bowels, tossing and turning the bile up into our throats. Until finally, suddenly, it shatters into a million tiny slivers radiating across our spine. Uncontrollable fear takes us captive, paralyzing us from the inside. Bludgeoning our inner peace. Destroying our calm, sound mind.
And we know this dark stranger well. He’s uncovered his ugly face a little too often. He rumbles reminders of our own personal terrors just beneath our unflinching plastic smiles. Even though each and every one of us struggles against this secret vagrant, no one really likes to talk about him.
Our happy world portrays a rainbow of love, acceptance, and ease: a standard show for the good and right life. It is projected onto the sunny blue sky, reeling like a movie just beyond our grasp. It looks so attractive, so attainable, so easy. If only we could lay ahold of those peaceful silver screen days and make them our own. But somehow, we never quite get there. In the pauses, the valleys, that awful stranger claws us back into the pit of fear. Taking us captive. Reminding us we cannot pull ourselves away from his clutches.
By nature, we want to escape the fear that plagues our hearts and minds. If we could solve the little problems and avoid the silly downfalls that allow the terrifying man to take control. If we could protect ourselves from the pain and safeguard against suffering, we may be able to rid ourselves of this treacherous fear that haunts us. We love to hear the stories from the oppressed overpowering the reign of fear. We long for a rainbow happy day without having to look over our shoulder, chased by the terror to come.
But God says different.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7)
The Word of the Lord has taken possession of that dark stranger that dwells within you. He names the fear that lurks within you and calls it His own. Scared for your life, because the Lord is Almighty. Fearful for your actions, because the Lord calls it unrighteous. Afraid of the evil, because it works against God’s good. Terrified of disaster, because He created only beauty. Worried for the future, because outside of the will of God, you have no control.
In the middle of the night, in the depth of darkness, this fear of the Lord may overtake us. It’s always been there, from the first doubt in the Garden. Fear of the Almighty Lord takes us captive, paralyzing us from the inside. Terror in the presence of a holy God bludgeons our inner peace. A wisdom beyond our understanding destroys our calm, sound mind.
Even though each and every believer struggles against this fear of the Lord, no one really likes to talk about him in this way. But God says different.
But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.”(Genesis 22:11-12)
Abraham feared the Lord. He trusted only the words of God, that a sacrifice would be provided. When he looked into the scared little eyes of his son, his only promised son, the terror of the Lord was only the beginning of this knowledge. A sacrifice was provided, and Abraham caught a glimpse of the wisdom of the Lord.
The Lord is unsearchable in His ways. But the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. This is not a knowledge that we can come to on our own. This is not a solution that we can solve in our own hearts. The fear of the Lord breaks into our heart and mind so that we can trust only Him. The Fear of the Lord rips us away from our own reasoning, strength and desires. The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge – a sacrifice provided for us in Christ alone.
By nature, we want to escape the fear that plagues our hearts and minds. But God says different.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7)
Now fearing, you don’t trust in your own escape. Now trusting, you understand the wise Word of the Lord. Now confident in Christ alone, you believe the final sacrifice has been provided for you.