Blessed Fear

For Thursday, January 17, 2008
Proverbs 28:14

Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

The one who fears the Lord is blessed because he has the true perspective on reality and because God will bless him for his faithfulness. Fear of the Lord is not about living in terror of the Lord, but about knowing God for who he is - Creator, King, and Redeemer. To fear God is to understand (as much as a human is able) God's attributes - his holiness, his eternal nature, his power, his mercy, etc. It is understanding that one's purpose is to glorify him. As one grows in understanding, so his fear of the Lord enriches his relationship with his Lord, so that he is filled with awe and filled with love.

To harden one's heart so as to reject God, or to think of limiting who God is, will lead to calamity because of a skewed view of reality and because God will withhold his blessing. God will not be mocked. He is jealous for his glory. And the one who refuses to live for God's glory will inevitably stumble into the pit of destruction. He cannot escape it, for God will accomplish his purposes.

And hardening one's heart will be the verdict for all who do not embrace his redemption, specifically the Redeemer he has provided. Whatever protests anyone may give, whatever excuses they may offer, the verdict will be the same - hardening one's heart. There are only two options - to fear the Lord or to harden one's heart.