May 23, Wednesday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“The Holy Fear of God”

Jeremiah 5:20-25

 “Announce this to the descendants of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah: 21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: 22 Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord. “Should you not tremble in my presence? I made the sand a boundary for the sea, an everlasting barrier it cannot cross. The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail; they may roar, but they cannot cross it. 23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away. 24 They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’ 25 Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have withheld good from you.”

Growing up my mother was the epitome of the Asian tiger mom: authoritative, controlling, and all about her rules. Truth be told, I grew up fearing my mother out of apprehension of how she would dictate my life if I went against her ways. And thus, I got good grades in fear that she’d send me to more after school programs, I never argued back in fear that she would scold me, and I stayed home when asked in fear that she would never let me hang out with my friends. While it would take me years to understand that it was my mother’s love for me that compelled her, my fear certainly instilled in me the need to do what was right.

In today’s passage, God declares the descendants of Jacob as foolish and senseless people for their failure to fear the Lord. In attempts to instill the fear of the Lord in them, God reminds them that He is the God who made the sands of the sea, brings rain to the crops, and assures the fruit of the harvest. In other words, God reminds the people of Judah that He is the God of the earth who creates all things, controls all things, and takes care of all things. However, it is precisely Judah’s failure to recognize who God is that leads them to a lack of fear that ultimately leads them to their apostasy.

When we fail to recognize who our God truly is—the maker of heaven and earth, and the provider and sustainer of our life—then we lose our holy awe of God and become masters over our own lives. While I may not have had the right motives for obeying my mother when I was younger, my fear in knowing I was at the mercy of her words and decisions led me to obedience. When I matured and saw my mother’s deep love for me that led her to parent in the only way she knew how, I was not only able to obey but to submit. When we see God in light of His power and Lordship, alongside His unending love for us that compelled Him to the cross, then our only response is to turn from our ways and worship the King of all kings.

In light of this, let’s take time today to reflect on whether we are living a life in holy fear of God. When we recognize God’s magnificent work and love for us, then our response is to surrender the idols and sins of our life to worship the God who makes all things work for the good of those who love Him. May we be people who have a healthy fear of the Lord that compels us to a life of love, obedience, and worship.

Prayer: God, how amazing and majestic are Your ways. I pray that You would fill me with holy reverence as I reflect on Your power, glory, and love. Thank You for all that You are and all that You do. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: James 3  


Lunch Break Study 

Read Proverbs 9:10-12: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. 

Questions to Consider

  1. What does this passage say is the foundation for wisdom?
  2. How can we begin to have a holy fear of God?
  3. What promise is given to us when we live a life of wisdom? 

Notes

  1. The foundation to true wisdom is fear of the Lord.
  2. By filling ourselves up with the knowledge of the Holy One.
  3. God promises to increase the years of our life. 

Evening Reflection

Today we spoke on the fear of the Lord that leads us to the ways of reverence, obedience, and worship. Take time to reflect on the things that you have been filling your life with that have not been of the Holy One. Only the knowledge and understanding of Christ can lead us to true wisdom while all other types of learning simply lead to information. What are some ways you can develop your knowledge of God that you may fear the Lord and walk in the ways of righteousness?

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