Been reading and writing through Isaiah lately. Finally starting to understand the context of some of those earlier passages. It was so easy in the past just to read without thinking! And reading and thinking is so hard. I have a lot of questions.
But praise be to God, in spite of my stupid brain that is slow to comprehend at times, God still grants knowledge and growth in knowledge. Whew!
But anyways, onto the post. I've noticed in many circles a desire to reinterpret the "fear of God" as simply "reverence" or "awe" rather than "terror." While one could make a translational argument (phobia is the greek), this passage really secured it for me. Emphasis added.
11 For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.”
We see a direct connection between fear and dread, with God saying, "Don't fear as these men fear, but fear God, be in dread of God." What were the people afraid of? What were the people in dread of? They were afraid of the coming Assyrian invasion (or maybe the united Israel/Syria attack in ch. 7). This wasn't an "awe" or a "reverent worship," it was a knees knocking, feet trembling, terror.
In the same way, the Lord ought to be treated with the same fear. We ought to tremble before a holy and awesome God, who sees even our in most hearts. And this fear and dread ought to drive out and extinguish any fear and dread of man, or of this world.
13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.
Labels: Christian Living, Exposition