"To Fear God" – Biblical Definitions Lesson 2 – September 19 – 26

Why is it that the human capacity for wonder and awe often diminishes with age?  Some researchers claim that 99% of those magical and memorable moments occur during our childhood years.  Is it because our increased knowledge and experience makes us so wise?  Is it because we no longer have the energy or interest to ask questions?  Does our sense of curiosity decrease as we get older?  Or could it be that we very gradually become desensitized and indifferent to the wonders and miracles that happen around us daily?

When Jesus told his disciples that “the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children” – the ones that He welcomed and blessed, what do you suppose that He meant?  While often these verses are interpreted to mean, humble, trusting, eager, innocent, perhaps the deepest meaning is that they came with a sense of awe and wonder.  It’s so natural for young children to feel astonishment and excitement and yet to be trembling and fearful all at the same time. They quite literally helped Jesus demonstrate His desire for every person, no matter what his/her age might be, that coming to Him with a deep sense of admiration and yet respect and reverence, even fear, is exactly the way to approach His open arms.

As you think about your own definition for the phrase, “fear the Lord”, it would be helpful for you to remember that the Hebrew word that is often translated “fear” is “YIRAH.”  It could be translated as fear, terror, respect, reverence, awe, devotion, and honor.  Mike Yaconelli, a prominent author said, “Our world is . . . longing to see people whose God is big and holy and frightening and gentle and tender . . .and ours; a God whose love frightens us into His strong and powerful arms where He longs to whisper those terrifying words, ‘I love you.’”

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