“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Prov 1:7)”
On Sunday we were challenged to understand what fearing God means in the 21st century as we looked at the response to God of the Gibeonites and Joshua in Joshua 9 and Achan in Joshua 7. The Gibeonites feared the judgment of God, a judgment given to Achan who did not revere or respect God in contrast to the reverence shown by Joshua. The Gibeonites had an immediate fear for their lives as we might if confronted by a snake poised to strike whereas Joshua, having seen God in action, clearly understood God’s perfect judgment and revered God. The writer of Hebrews offers us a similar perspective and describes the fear that those who reject God will face (Heb 10:26-31) compared to the reverence and awe of those who are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb 12:28-29).
We live post resurrection Sunday anchored in the saving grace of Jesus’ sacrifice but still being made holy. Each day we face and make choices that will either bring us closer to God in reverence or will remind us of a Holy and all powerful God who demands justice. Each day we will encounter those around us who need to be made aware of the same God. Ultimately, each will need to know both God’s saving grace and judgement through Jesus Christ.