Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fear for your Life

"The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm." 
Proverbs 19:23

Many of us fear for our lives. What I mean by this is that we are afraid to lose our lives. We fear death, tragedy, sickness, and harm. We hear a noise in the middle of the night, or have a tough time shaking a tricky illness, and fear naturally creeps up into our hearts to some degree. In this instance, we are using fear as a mechanism to protect that which we cherish most, life. Fear in this sense is exclusively a negative term.

In another sense, the Bible tells us that fear is a path to life. A means to an end. The proverb above tells us that fear (not of airplane flights or spiders or tornadoes) "leads to life." The fear of God is the only path to true living. Rather than fearing for the loss of life, proper fear leads to life.

Moreover, those who possess this fear "rest satisfied." What? I remember camping as a child and being terrified that a slithery reptile (the type that happens to be referenced in Genesis 3) would somehow end up in the foot of my sleeping bag as I slept. My fear did not lead to rest; no, no, it led to the lack of rest. However, fear of God, Proverbs teaches, brings us rest. In fact, those who fear the Lord "will not be visited by harm."

Fear is mainly seen as a dark term, an unpleasant emotion. Generally, it takes and does not give. However, we must reprogram our minds when thinking of the fear of God. We see here that the fear of God gives life, rest, and protection.