For the past week, I’ve have been in Lowell, Indiana, with my son, Craig and his wife, Karrie Anne. Karrie Anne’s mother, Karen, died last Tuesday. Karen died quite suddenly so the shock and raw pain of unexpected loss are great. I would appreciate continued prayers for Karrie Anne and Craig. Also, for Karen’s mother, Clarissa and her brothers, Richard, Jim and Eddie, as well as dear friends, Dave and Missy.
It’s Dave and Missy who are on my mind this morning as I sit down to write. They opened their home to Craig and Karrie Anne and have been caring for them since we arrived last Wednesday. Dave, as I’ve heard many times over the last few days, was the first one outside of the immediate family, to hold Karrie Anne when she was born and Missy, who was Karen’s dearest friend, have been a great source of comfort and some of the many blessings we have encountered throughout the past week.
Last night, Missy invited me to join them for their weekly Bible study at their home. This was also Karen’s Bible study group. There was a total of twelve in the group, plus Karrie Anne and me. (Craig’s getting sick so he was in bed.) They opened with prayer concerns and prayer, and then the leader, Ron, read the following verse from Proverbs 9:10:
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
God is so good. This was a verse that Karen had underlined in her Bible and the minister had used in the service that morning for her funeral. Obviously, it meant a lot to Karen and it was her way of passing on to all of us a bit of her faith.
Ron opened the discussion with the question, “What does fear of the Lord mean?”
There were a variety of good answers. Someone likened it to the fear you have as a child when you are disobedient to your parents. Someone else said it was fear of disappointing God. Another said it was a reverence to God.
The discussion went on for quite a while. We talked about Solomon and his wisdom. But towards the end of the lesson, Ron posed this question. “If all other fears were gone, and you had only the fear of the Lord, what would you do?”
Again, there were a lot of really good answers. But as I thought about what it meant to me, the fear of the Lord, I shared the following.
I think that the translation of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew creates a problem when we are trying to interpret the meaning of a word or phrase. For instance, the word “love” has seven types in the Greek language, whereas we only have the one meaning for every type of love we experience. In Psalms 139 (my husband’s favorite) it says that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I see the word fearfully as being struck with the awe, the magnitude or greatness that is involved in our creation. So, when I hear that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, I think that the more we are aware and acknowledge the omnipotence of God, the more in focus we are with His will for our lives. And if I only had the fear of the Lord, I would only follow His will, not my own.
It was such a great evening, to spend with new brothers and sisters in Christ, listening to his words. I’m so thankful for the lesson and the fellowship.
Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all. ~I Chronicles 29:11