Monday, March 14, 2011

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”
This doctrine is repeated many times in sacred scripture, so much so that we really ought to take notice and give it significant weight. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: this confounds heretics and libertines. Modern Biblical exegesis attempts to explain this away, by giving us images of a passive and nice Jesus, rather than the Lion of Judah, Whose return is called a day of wrath and a day of mourning, when Heaven and Earth will be burning to ashes.

When disaster strikes, like we see in a large scale now in Japan, or in commonplace but devastating personal tragedies, this nice, inoffensive, modern philosophy fails us. Rather, our supposedly sweet and gentle ‘buddy’ Jesus takes away with a shocking ferocity.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.

4 comments:

  1. But what exactly is the right fear of the Lord? Should I fear the Lord like I fear a parent? Like the cops? Like tragedy?

    And does not Scripture also say His Mercy endures forever? Why should we fear the Lord if He is just and merciful?

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  2. I understand it is filial fear. Certainly we can hope for God's mercy, but only insofar as we are united with God. As far as we are not united with God and His Will, why ought we expect mercy?

    That God is just ought to cause in us great fear.

    Imagine that the State of Missouri somehow implements perfect justice in punishing traffic violations. Imagine that you are pulled into court, and you are charged and punished for every time you have ever sped or rolled a stop sign, even if you did those things years ago. Although that would be perfect justice, you would quickly ask for mercy as your fines reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Fear of the Lord is typically needed "to avoid sin and attachment to created things out of reverence and love of God."

    Not having an "attachment to created things" is extremely important when you consider how quickly those created things can be destroyed. But human sin has caused far more suffering and destruction than all of the natural disasters in the world.

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  3. But if we look at Psalm 103 (http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/psalms/psalm103.htm), God is slow to anger, rich in compassion and kindness. He does not rebuke us.

    Is it not better to love the Lord and keep His precepts because it is right and just rather than to keep His precepts out of fear?

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  4. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but not its end. It isn't an either/or thing. But we ought not fall into the traps of either denying God's goodness or ignoring the evil of our personal sins.

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