What is fear?

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What is fear?               Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.  Extra Reading: Proverbs 1:1-7

I was confronted with this question after preaching one Friday morning at a High School in Mamelodi, East of Pretoria. One young girl gathered enough guts to ask me this question. I paused for a while, and answered that question this way: “Fear is an attitude of anxiety or distress, caused by concern over a threat to one’s future.” Scripture provides numerous examples of situations in which fear is experienced. It declares, however, that God alone is to be feared, and moments of human fear can be opportunities for deepening faith in him. When God called Moses, he experienced what we call ‘reverent fear’. Moses heard the voice of the God he could not see with his own eyes, but he obeyed Him when asked to take his shoes or sandals off, because the ground on which he was standing was holy. I always ask God in my private prayers to put ‘holy fear’ in me, so that I do not get too used to Him. God is not my ‘buddy’ but he is my “Daddy”.

There are people who battle with the ‘fear of the unknown’ all their lives. As a little boy I was scared of darkness. But God delivered me from this fear when I got born again. There was a time in the life of Israel where they were too afraid of God, and they wanted to use Moses as their go-between. The Lord spoke very strongly with them saying: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Deuteronomy 5:6-7) NIV Bible. But they disappointed God and followed other gods. There was a time after Moses spent time with God and went back to his people. The radiance of Moses’ face reflected God’s glory and made the Israelites afraid (Exodus 20:18; 34:30). No man can see God’s glory and stay unaffected. God’s glory reveals our own sinfulness as human beings. Jesus Christ may overcome all your fears. Have you already entrusted your life to Him? If not yet, what are you waiting for?

Prayer: O God, help us to have holy fear in our lives. Remind us today that ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’. In Jesus Christ’s name, we pray, Amen.

Rev. Samuel N. Modise                  2013 Rev. Samuel N. Modise

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