“And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
And to depart from evil is understanding.’”
As I read today’s verse I was reminded of my school days. In my school days, which seems like an age away, corporal punishment was a common part of classroom life. In Scotland teachers could use a leather belt made for the purpose called a “tawse” for stinging the hands of rebellious children with anywhere between one and six strikes. It was an acceptable method of keeping the worst behaved children in order. Some teachers attained a reputation either as being good at giving the belt or being bad at it, sometimes ladies would send you next door to a male colleague for punishment. I remember specific teachers who were legendary with a belt, and everyone feared their ability – they were treated with the greatest respect. I remember one teacher (Mr. D.) who was so respected I only ever saw him use his belt once at high school; the boy in question was a particulary evil individual. Many of my generation don’t see this as bad, but as a necessity at that time.
Some of you may be horrified that I use this as an analogy of having fear of the Lord, but to me and many others of my generation this is how we see it. Many of us feared our mum or dad for the punishment they were skillful in using if you stepped out of line; one close friend knew he had went too far when his mum took off her slipper, he made himself scarce! As time went on he knew the boundary lines with his mum, to keep her slippers on her feet. Might I suggest we have a good reason to fear (revere) Almighty God, who created us and predestines our every step in life. In disobedience of Him He may allow us to be punished, not by His hand but that of the devil.
Dear reader, do you fear God and revere Him in His Might? It is not about the fear that terrifies, but instead about the fear that makes one respect and obey. It is such fear that makes one wise in their relationship with God, avoiding the evils of this world and drawing closer to God as our Father.