Jessica Albritton, NextGen Minister LHBC

Proverbs 14:26-27
26 In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
    and his children will have a refuge.
27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life,
    that one may turn away from the snares of death.

All throughout the bible are verses addressing the fear of the Lord. The book of Psalms assures us that a man who fears the Lord is blessed. The book of Proverbs tells its readers that the fear of the Lord prolongs one’s life. Luke reminds us in his gospel that Gods’ mercy is upon those who fear Him. In all of the instances where the fear of the Lord is addressed in scripture it is cast in a positive light, but fear is generally an unpleasant emotion. Fear is by definition a belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. So what does it mean to have a fear of the Lord? Is the bible telling us that we need to be afraid of God?

In his book, The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis narrates a conversation between Mr. Beaver and Susan, one of the Pevensie children who stumbled into Narnia through a magical wardrobe. Mr. Beaver tells little Susan, “Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” A shocked Susan responds, “Ooh, I’d thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” Mr. Beaver then responds to Susan, “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you…”

Aslan is the Christ figure of Lewis’ books and helps the reader see the many characteristics of Jesus. In the text the reader can see he is powerful yet still gentle, has the capacity for righteous anger, yet shows unexpected compassion. Susan was scared to meet Aslan, and understandably so, but once she was face to face with him she was overwhelmed with more than just her fear, she also felt safe. She was filled with awe. 

1 John 4:8 tells us “God is love.” The chapter goes on to say in verse 18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” God demonstrated His deep love for us in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. John 15:13 states “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” In an unexpected display of love Jesus came to the earth, took on the sins of man, and chose to lay His life down for undeserving sinners. Fearing the Lord is a delicate balance of understanding all of God’s characteristics. God sits in judgement of sin, yet because of His love He sent Jesus to die for the sins of man. 

Fear of the Lord doesn’t cause us to run from God, rather it draws us near to Him. When we fear God we come close, understanding His power and also his love. True fear brings us in and helps us understand that He is terrifyingly good and gracious and merciful. Having a fear of the Lord is not merely a fear of God Himself, when we have a fear of God we understand the dept of His love and appreciate the sacrifice that He made for us on the cross. 

As a Christian we can walk in confidence because we know who God is. He is just and loving, against sin but for us! In Him we find refuge and life. Just like Lucy meeting Aslan, when we come face to face with Jesus we can be overwhelmed with more than just our fear, we can feel safe in knowing who He is! He isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you…

Heavenly Father, I pray that we would learn to rightfully fear you! Help me to see you as both a loving savior and righteous judge. Lord help me to be holy just as you are holy and help me to fear sin, not just because of the consequences it yields but because it grieves your heart. I pray that I never forget the depth of your love displayed on the cross. In Jesus name, amen!

2 Timothy 1:12
I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.