Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
I have written about “the fear of the Lord” three or four times in the past few weeks. So maybe this will be my last time to write about it for a while. It’s a concept I like to write about. I feel there is a lot of misconceptions about what is “the fear of the Lord”.
The concept as described by man, particularly those in charge of maintaining the corporate religions and those seeking to maintain control over others, has been one of God as a sort of superhuman, a giant, an omnipotent benevolent titan. As long as you are on his good side everything is OK. But if you cross the line then there is hell to pay. There is the image of hell as a lake of fire and constant burning. It’s depicted in a very dramatic manner. At least they are trying to impart the gravity of the situation.
But the images are man made. The concepts are setup and revolve around how man sees it. There’s the lake of fire, red horned beings and pitch forks. There’s the super wizard floating in the clouds shooting fire and brimstone down upon those who displease him. These are concepts we can understand both young and old. It is like a parent trying to reign in their child. I guess to some extent it serves its purpose.
As we live and grow we see that the wicked don’t always get punished, at least not as we believe they should be punished. We see what we perceive as good people experiencing tragic events. Then we start to realize it’s not as cut and dry as what some have tried to teach us.
Christ speaks of “hell” numerous times. He speaks of eternal darkness, weeping and gnashing of teeth, and unquenchable fire. So man has put together a picture of a final place, a final destination.
What is heaven and what is hell? Who knows?
So back to my initial thoughts, “the fear of the Lord”.
Although I am not sure what is heaven and what is hell, I am sure about what they represent. Heaven and hell are the consequences to our actions. We are solely responsible for our actions and there consequences. Therefore “the fear of the Lord” is the fear of the consequences of an unrighteous and wasted life.
Through righteousness we open our hearts and let God in, perhaps returning to the youthful bliss before the loss of our innocence. Through unrighteousness we deny God and fill our hearts with worldly troubles and wants. We end up in darkness and are wasted. Then we are as John the Baptist spoke in Matthew 3:12
His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.
David is telling us this in Psalm 112:1-3. The man who fears the Lord and his commandments, the man who fears the consequences of the balance due for his unrighteousness, this man will have wealth and riches. Not worldly wealth and riches but the wealth and riches of righteousness that will endure forever.
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