2017 Day 203 – Good Fear

Wow. Yesterday was a spectacularly difficult day for me, a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  I blogged about it, of course.

I realized that I needed to “rest satisfied” after a singularly satisfying day where I felt my general lack of rest in life.  The path to this life, according to Proverbs 19:23 is to “fear the Lord.”

But how does fearing God lead to rest and satisfaction? Well, for one thing, “fear” in this context means “awe.” An awesome God is able to protect me and provide for me and therefore give me rest and satisfaction – although yesterday, I wasn’t feeling it! I wasn’t too happy with the circumstances God allowed in my life.

One of today’s passages helps me see more clearly how fear or awe of God can lead to rest and satisfaction. Solomon has just prayed for the people before the newly completed temple for the Lord:

As soon as Solomon finished his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord filled the Lord‘s house. When all the people of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.”  2 Chronicles 7:1-3

Now, in this passage, it’s evident that the people of Israel fear the Lord! They are awestruck by his glory. They’re only response? To bow down with their faces to the ground and worship.

Then they give thanks. For what? For God’s creative power? For His strength and might? For His control of history? For all these awe-inspiring attributes?

No, they give thanks that God is good, that His steadfast love endures forever.

They give thanks for God’s “never giving up, unbreakable, always and forever love.” (Sally Lloyd Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible)

An awesome God loves like that. When you fear that God, you acknowledge not just how great He is, but how much He loves you.

Fear of the Lord recognizes both His transcendence and His immanence, that He is both just and loving, that He numbers both the stars and the hairs on our heads.

So it’s easier to understand now how fear of the Lord leads to life – and if I have that fear, I’ll rest satisfied. Because my awesome God not only protects me so I can rest, but his forever love satisfies me.

Sure, it didn’t feel like it yesterday, but if someone will die for you, you know He’ll only do good things for you, even if it hurts. God was in the mess yesterday. And maybe not all days will satisfy, but one day, I’ll be fully satisfied in Him.

Dear Lord: Help me to understand better how to fear you and find rest and satisfaction. Amen

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