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Lenten Devotionals Thursday March 4, 2023: Fear of God

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”  (Proverbs 1:7a)

This week’s devotions wouldn’t be complete without contemplating our fear of God.  The Hebrew word yirah can be translated as fear, but also awe, respect or reverence.  Yirah is a worshipful posture before God.  To fear God means we understand who God is and who we are in relationship to God.  To know we are not the Divine-a tragic misjudgment humans often make.

As we hear stories about soldiers raping and pillaging innocents and torturing prisoners of war, about nations proliferating nuclear weapons, about extremists and racists elected to powerful political positions, about the lack of will to protect our degrading environment, a little more fear of the Lord would serve us well.

The more humans contemplate our humble position before God, the better.  We need reminders that the world does not center around us and our immediate needs.  We are one small part of God’s great and glorious creation.

Such a posture, such fear of God, can also be incredibly comforting.  To know we are not in control, to believe our benevolent Creator desires a future for us free of harm, can bring us great peace.  To understand our place before God and to assume a posture of ireverence, respect and fear, is according to Proverbs, the beginning of all knowledge.  We would be wise to pray to be filled by this fear, not freed.

Examine:  Sit with your fear of God.  Breathe.  Notice thoughts and feelings that arise.

Imagine:  Imagine you have been granted audience with God, like Job.  What doe3s it feel like to be in God’s presence?

Pray:  Fill me with fear of you, O God, so I can live with faith.