We’re going to talk about two themes this morning: fear and wisdom.
They move throughout our scriptures this morning, and are connected in one controversial Bible verse in our psalm: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
It’s controversial for good reason.
For centuries many Christians were trapped in a concept of an angry, vengeful God, a God who demanded restitution for their sins, a God who seemed almost to hate them.
It was a tragically narrow view of God that kept people afraid and made them judgmental because they were so sure they themselves were being judged and found wanting.
The more you feel you don’t measure up, the more likely you are to find fault in others.
It was a desperately insecure Christianity, and it felt the fear of the Lord in a visceral, literal, unhealthy way.
I do not think we should fear the Lord in that way.
But I don’t think we should just get rid of the concept altogether. Continue reading