Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fear of the Lord and the Attributes of God

For many months I have been meditating on and doing a Bible survey on the fear of the Lord. What is it exactly? How do you get it/do it? How do you teach it to your kids? How do you live it out in your life? Doing a Bible study on it by looking up each instance it is used (fear of God, fear of the Lord, etc.) is very helpful and I would recommend that you do that. I am a firm believer in letting scripture interpret scripture… and in letting the scriptures define fear of the Lord you will find such definitions as: wisdom (Job 28:28); is clean, enduring forever (Psalm 19:9); beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10, Prov. 9:10); the beginning of knowledge (Prov. 1:7); the hatred of evil (Prov. 8:13); a fountain of life (Prov. 14:27); instruction in wisdom (Prov. 15:33); it turns you away from evil (Prov. 16:6); it leads to life (Prov. 19:23); etc… (Note that this is not an exhaustive list.)  Even more, you can walk in it, delight in it, know it, continue in it, it leads to life, riches (spiritual), and honor, it is better than treasure, it is Zion’s treasure, you can be taught it, it is clean….

Wow! Don’t you want this to the fullest extent? Don’t you want to teach it to your children? I do! I want to grasp it, to drink it in, to breath it out, to fully understand it more each day. One of the ways that our family immerses ourselves in God’s truth is daily reading and studying of the Word by reading the Bible chronologically through each year. Here is the reading plan we use. I get through it 2-3 times per year by just doubling up on the daily readings and this year, my 11 year old wanted to go through the Bible 2 times too. I teach our kids to read at the age of 3-4 so that by the January after they turn 5, they can join the family in the yearly Bible reading plan. In addition to the daily reading, we also read a chapter in Proverbs, going through the whole book once/month. (For example, if it is the 10th, we read chapter 10 in Proverbs.)  This is very helpful in cultivating a good knowledge of God’s word throughout the years. In addition, we generally work our way through a more in depth study of a book of the Bible, a character study, a topical study, etc. for our morning devotions and we have a fantastic study guide on the book of Proverbs that we work through with Dad in the evenings.

So in an attempt to better understand the Fear of the Lord, we began an extensive study on the attributes of God. If we are going to fear God, we have to know WHO we are fearing. WHO IS THIS GOD??? What do we believe about Him and have we been taught RIGHTLY about who He is? Or is He just what I have constructed in my mind? Have I been taught rightly about Him? If what I believe about Him consists of what my fleshy mind comes up with, then “He” is just a fabricated idol. I want to believe correctly about Him based upon what He says about Himself in the scriptures and how He revealed Himself through His son. And, I want my children to do the same.

Paul Washer has a great, FREE, ebook/pdf file entitled The OneTrue God that the kids and I are working through together. (He also has a free ebook about man’s true nature that we will do when we are finished with The One True God.) In addition, Tozer’s book: The Knowledge of the Holy is an awesome reference. I have read and worked through it several times and each time I am richly blessed. I also started the Bible study, Behold Your God by John Snyder. It sure is amazing how the Lord brings so many resources into my life that all deal with the same thing! I guess He is really challenging me to study His attributes!

This journey continues to be a blessing to my soul as I “taste and see that the Lord is good”. I find myself striving evermore to behold the beauty of Christ and His sacrifice for me. As I see God for what He really is, and see myself and my sin for what I really am, I am forced into submission, humility, trembling, and thankfulness to my savior who would save a “wretch like me”.  I would encourage you to reflect and really study what scripture says about God: His holiness, eternality, sovereignty, omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience, love, justice, grace, mercy, faithfulness, truthfulness, righteousness, self-existence, immutability, etc… You will be highly blessed.