From: Rich Carlson
Date: March 12, 2019
Subject: It's March 12;Good Morning Union

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”  Proverbs 9:10

I’ve been pondering something one of my fellow chaplains shared with me when we were together a few weeks ago. We were discussing the “fear of the Lord” texts and their implications on our relationship with God. Do we actually “fear” Him, as “be afraid of Him?” I’ve heard the Hebrew explanation that the word in the original language could just as likely mean “to respect or be in awe” and for that culture back when Hebrew was spoken, the “respect and awe” is probably more accurate than “to be afraid.” I tried substituting the word “respect” or “be in awe” whenever I saw “fear” of the Lord and it gave me a much nicer picture of God.

But what we talked about was that maybe the “respect” is not mine for Him but His for me! Who owns the word? When we talk about the “children of God” we’re talking about God’s children; when we talk about the “love of God” we’re referring to God’s love, not mine. The list could go on, so WHAT if the “fear of the Lord” or now as I now see it the “respect of the Lord” is actually the Lord’s respect for me? He respects me and my freedom of choice enough to wait patiently for me to “choose Him,” or unfortunately, for me to NOT choose Him? I get to choose and He respects that choice. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” says Solomon in Proverbs. WHAT IF the beginning of wisdom is to know that God respects me enough to give me freedom of choice? A truly wise person will increase His “wisdom” when he realizes this level of freedom and responsibility.

It’s also the beginning of understanding. I will understand God better when I realize how much He respects my freedom.

There are plenty of texts that fit the traditional way of looking at this text so I’m not advocating rejecting all of ways God’s word encourages US to be in awe and respect of HIM, but maybe there is something to seeing the HUGE commitment God made to ME when He gave me the freedom of choice.

Have a great day valuing God’s gift to you,

Pastor Rich

Quote for the day:      “Your worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.”


PS        Chapel- This week it’s sponsored by Liz and her BCS friends. Aaron Purkeypile will be sharing his “Glimpse of Jesus.” See you in Woods @ 10:30.

PPS      Christ on Demand, 7:30 in Rees Hall Chapel. Join Amber and friends as we continue looking at prayer. The speaker will be Joel Shetler.

PPPS    YOU are invited to our second presentation entitled The Other Six Days: Work as Worship. This is the conclusion of our Young Adult Life Series entitled Seasons. We spend a great deal of time working but we might not realize how our work intersects with our faith. We compartmentalize and restrict faith experience and obligation to Friday nights and Sabbath day and see the rest of our week as having little to do with our walk with God. We are going to consider why God may have you in your current position and encourage you to look beyond how your job makes you feel and see purpose and significance in your work. It all happens at 8pm at the CVC YA Room.