Sunday, July 8, 2012

Fear + Honor = Love

English: "Honor thy father and thy mother... "Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." Exodus 20:12 (King James version), illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
His praise endures forever.

Psalm 111:10

New King James Version (NKJV)

        My friends were often afraid of my father because he could be very loud.  His booming voice could be mistaken for anger, but it was just the way he talked.   I too was afraid of him at times.  When he was angry, his anger was forceful.  I feared the potential of his wrath.

        My dad was a good father.  He was generous in his provision for his family and his openness to strangers.  He was a hard worker and a big dreamer.  His penchant for traveling and having a good time was evident in the good memories I've reaped in growing up with him.

        There were times when I did not show my father the respect he deserved, but down deep and in the long run I honored him and loved him.  He could be a tough taskmaster, but following his house rules and his sage advice paid off.   I am a better person because of who my father was and how I let him influence me.

        The analogy here should be obvious.   It's for good reason that "Honor thy parents" and "Honor God above all" take such a priority in the Ten Commandments.  These aren't rules made to hinder us in any way, but they are there to help us to be better people.

        God loves us and wants us to love Him back.  That love for God comes in the form of honor and fear.  Don't be afraid of who He is or what He can do, but be afraid of what you might do and the consequences of those actions.  God does not separate himself from us, we separate ourselves from Him in our rejection of His way and disobedience to Him.

 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light  (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.

Ephesians 5:8-10

New International Version (NIV)

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    I like how you used the relationship to your earthly Father as an example of, or to draw a comparison to, how you relate to your Heavenly Father. Nicely done.

    There is one thing, however, in which we don't quite see eye-to-eye. In quoting the Scripture, I believe the word "fear" ought to be translated "reverence", which definitely gives it a different meaning.

    In the New American Standard version of The Bible, which many people - including "literalist" minister John MacArthur - consider to be the most accurate rendering of the Old Testament, Psalm 111:10 reads: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" but there is a footnote for the word "fear" that says "Or, reverence for".

    Interestingly though, there is not a similar footnote for Proverbs 1:7, which reads: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;..."

    My own preferred version of The Bible, George M. Lamsa's translation of the ancient Aramaic into English, translates the word "fear" as "reverence for" in BOTH the Psalm and the Proverb verses.

    I feel that 1st John 4:18 (which oddly enough was my scheduled New Testament reading for last night) provides ample reason to translate "fear" as "reverence for". It says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear..."

    Regardless, I enjoyed this blog bit, Brother, and I am glad you decided to create a Biblically themed blog. If you recall, I was one of those whose 'two cents worth' said, "Don't do away with the Sunday sermons on 'Tossing It Out'," way back when you were seeking input on how to revamp your only blog at that time.

    You did do away with the Sunday sermons on 'TIO' but you later created THIS blog, which leaves me satisfied.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  2. I think we sometimes are afraid of God because we don't know Him very well, just like your friends feared your Dad simply because they didn't know him very well. Thanks for the thought-filled post, Arlee.

  3. Actually I agree with what you say. I looked at a number of translations to find one that used reverence, awe, or the like, but the only ones that fit my context the best used "fear" and since this is the most commonly known use I decided to stick with that. This is why I made some distinction in my final paragraph between "fear" and "being afraid". I too am somewhat put off by using "fear" in translations, but I guess it made more sense to readers in past centuries and has been upheld in newer translations for the sake of traditionalism.

    Yes, you were the impetus behind this blog and I thank you. It makes sense to keep this as a separate entity from Tossing It Out. This is my "hidden" blog that I hope new readers will continue to discover.


  4. I love this blog and am grateful for your Sunday inspirations! Beautiful post! So thankful to be a child of the Light!

  5. I like to check in here on Sundays too. Thanks for your weekly insights.

  6. I loved my mother dearly (my dad died when I was three yrs) and I went to church regulary so you could say I honoured my Heavenly Father, It's a pity two of my children don't honour me their mother I don't ask for much just a little respect.

    Have a good week.

  7. Elaine and Mare -- Thank you for your encouragement.

    Yvonne -- Even if we have bad parents we should honor them. It's especially bad when children don't honor the parents who have been good to them.



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