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Friday, March 12, 2021

Isaiah 33:5,6

"The Key To This Treasure"

Message summary: In recent decades the love and grace of God has been the chief theme to the point of completely de-emphasizing the proper understanding of the fear of the Lord. Both themes are essential and part of Biblical revelation.

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"The Lord is exalted for He dwells on high. He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure" (Isaiah 33:5,6).

Many of us recall when we carried a number of keys around, car key(s), house key, etc. Now we have electronic fobs for our cars and the only key I still carry is for a bike lock. Even our main house door has a numeric key pad. So we hope today's illustration is not too dated!

Unlocking car Many years ago I had a very embarrassing moment. I took my family to a concert in Hershey and when it was over we walked out in the night to the large parking lot preparing to leave. Recalling the general area I had parked in, I spotted our car but when I inserted the key it just wouldn’t fit in, neither the driver’s door nor the passenger door. (This is a rather dated illustration since most no longer use a key to open their car door these days!)

I tried several times without success; I thought there must be something wrong with the key so I attempted to find my hidden key, but it was also not in the place I had hidden it. I went back to the driver’s door and again frustratingly tried to make the key work when a man hollered, "Hey, what are you doing trying to get into my car?" while Ester said at the same time, "Daddy, this isn’t our car". We walked over to our almost identical car, parked only about ten spaces away and the key worked just fine!

Treasure chestThe world offers plenty of keys that people believe will meet their deepest needs in life such as love, joy and peace, but all in futility, for they go through life using the wrong key or looking for their answers in the wrong place. In life it's vital to have the right key to the treasure chest of God's salvation and all the blessings that flow thereof.

The daily verse is a real gem. It’s one of those great treasures found deep in the Old Testament.  The Lord is exalted and dwells on high. Today, some 2,700 years after Isaiah wrote today's text, our God is still exalted and dwelling on high! He ever remains, "the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge". Isn't that an assuring truth for the age we live in? The text calls this a "treasure".

What a blessed treasure we long for, to be settled on a firm foundation in these tumultuous times where we can draw from a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge. This is an expression of our deepest need and greatest treasure.

But today we will especially focus on the last clause which is the key to this treasure but is so lost by the majority in this world, and I earnestly feel many in the church and professing Christians as well. "The fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure". Indeed the very notion of “fearing the Lord” seems archaic to many in our generation.

The late Bible teacher Jerry Bridges writes, "There was a time when committed Christians were known as God-fearing people. This was a badge of honor, but somewhere along the way we lost it. Now the idea of fearing God, if thought of at all, seems like a relic from the past."

The fear of the LordIt is my observation that the fear of the Lord is under-emphasized and in some settings never mentioned. It seems there is always a struggle for balance in Christian theology.  In sermons of the past it seems as if the "fear of the Lord" was pounded from the pulpit Sunday after Sunday. Hellfire and brimstone sermons seemed to be the recurring theme and at times presented an unhealthy fear of a loving God which brought little peace or needed security to the believer.

However in recent decades the love and grace of God has been the chief theme to the point of completely de-emphasizing the proper understanding of the fear of the Lord. Both themes are essential and part of Biblical revelation.

A study Bible gives this helpful insight to the meaning of the fear of the Lord. “A reverent awe of God’s power, majesty and holiness produces in us a holy fear of transgressing His revealed will; such reverence is essential to gaining a heart of wisdom. The New Testament indicates that the sincere fear of the Lord in our hearts will be accompanied by the comfort of the Holy Spirit.” 

Many years ago I developed a sermon on the need to have a healthy, holy fear of God and I earnestly believe this healthy, holy fear is vitally needed for our generation. Today let us walk in His love with fear and reverence toward Him for the Bible says, “Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in His ways” (Psalm 128:1). That is the key to this treasure.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, our generation seeks more and more knowledge all the while exercising less and less restraint toward sins that grieve Your heart. In our information age knowledge is promoted as the key to success, fulfillment, happiness and financial security and yet we see so many educated people lacking in these areas. While higher education is important, godly wisdom and biblical understanding are the foundational tools by which we accept or reject current philosophies, basic principles, human traditions, and the practices of our day. Your Word helps us to interpret knowledge that is ever changing so that we are careful to build our foundation upon You, the unchanging Solid Rock. Any other foundation will sink when the rain falls, the streams rise, and the assaulting winds blow and beat against that which we have worked so hard to build.  We choose to love You and have a healthy fear of going against Your prescribed will for our lives. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"We Choose The Fear Of The Lord"  Video  Maranatha Singers

"The Fear Of The Lord"  Video  Tommy Walker

What does it mean to have the fear of God? From Gotquestions

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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