Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
Sixteenth Sunday After
Option #1: "Knowledge
of the Holy One is Understanding"
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
I. The mocker doesnt understand--Prov 23:9, 29:1; Matt 7:6, 13:11ff; Heb 6:7-8
II. Characteristics of a wise person
A. He will love you for correcting him--Prov 25:12
B. He will add to his understanding--Prov 1:5-6; 1 Pet 2:2-3; 2 Pet 3:18
III. The benefits of this knowledge
A. Longer life--Deut 6:1-3; Prov 3:1-2, 13-18, 10:2
B. Better life--2 Pet 3:3-16
Holman Bible Dictionary
Religious fear is the human response to the presence of God.
Fear of God: A prominent element in Old Testament religion is the concept of the fear of God. Most often the sense of fear comes as individuals encounter the divine in the context of revelation. When God appears to a person, the person experiences the reality of Gods holiness. This self-disclosure of God points to the vast distinction between humans and God, to the mysterious characteristic of God that at the same time attracts and repels. There is a mystery in divine holiness that causes individuals to become overwhelmed with a sense of awe and fear. They respond by falling down or kneeling in reverence and worship, confessing sin, and seeking Gods will (Isa 6).
Fear as obedience: Deuteronomy sets out a relationship between the fear of God and the observance of the demands of the covenant. To fear the Lord is one of the ways by which Israel expresses its obedience and loyalty to Yahweh and to His divine requirements: "and now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, to keep the commandments of the Lord and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?" (Deut 10:12-13; compare 6:24-25; 10:20; 13:4). Fear becomes a demand that can be learned (Deut 17:19). Fear of God was part of the religious life of every Israelite, where the acknowledgment of it required a specific behavior from each individual. Fear of God was a requirement demanded from every judge (Ex 18:21). The kings of Israel should rule in the fear of the Lord (2 Sam 23:3); even the messianic King would live in the fear of the Lord (Isa 11:2). To fear God was the beginning of wisdom and thus of the pathway to true life (Prov 1:7; 9:10; 15:33).
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Object: sign reading "No Fear!"
There is a sign that I see that I think is both good news and bad news. The sign says "No Fear!" Thats good news if youre shooting a free throw, playing in a piano recital, or speaking your part in a play. To do these things well, you must overcome your fear and use the ability God has given you.
But theres a bad news side to this "No Fear!" sign. Its bad news if youre not afraid of sinning; its really bad news when people dont even think there is a God they must answer to. "No Fear!" is about the worst thing that can happen to you if it means that you have forgotten God.
Thats the kind of "No Fear!" that really gets people into trouble. Gods people in the Old Testament sinned against him often. The Bible writer said that "there is no fear of God in their eyes" (Ps 36:1). Again and again, when they forgot God, they did they thought was right; they didnt read what God said in His Word. There was even a time when the Bible was lost. The godly King Josiah restored it to its proper place.
"No Fear!" is a really good thing if its because you know that God sent Jesus to be your Savior. Jesus came here to show us that God loves us more than we can possibly understand. He took our sins away so that on the Last Day we can have "No Fear!" of standing before Him. Our sins will be gone because He nailed them to His cross, taking them away once and for all.
Now you and I can look forward to seeing God face to face with "No Fear!"
"Wisdom's Three R's"
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:34 PM