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Thursday, September 1, 2022

Isaiah 33:5,6

"The Fear Of The Lord"

Message summary: Today we consider another far more vital key that has been lost or replaced by many; "the fear of the Lord". 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. That key is "the fear of the Lord".

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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).

Push to startWe used to carry a number of keys around; car key(s), house key, etc. Now our main house door has a numeric key pad and we have electronic fobs for our cars and have no need to carry a physical key at all since both of our vehicles have keyless entry and start, a convenient feature. As long as you have the fob you just open the door, put your foot on the brake and push a button to start or simply push the button to stop the engine.

Well there's a downside we experienced yesterday afternoon. We were all preparing to go to church and I was waiting for Brooksyne in the running car. But I was rather nauseated and not feeling well so last minute I changed my mind about going. Brooksyne got in the driver's side in my place with the engine still running and went on her own along with Ester.

She got to the church, parked the car and realized she did not have the key fob since I forgot to hand it over to her when we changed drivers! If she had turned off the engine and left the car she wouldn't have been able to start it again. So there was no alternative but to turn the car around and come home! In some ways I wish I could find a way to go back to the old-fashioned manual key but on this model it is not an option. (We have had similar experiences to driving off without the key but this was the furthest away (17 miles).

Treasure chestToday let us consider another far more vital key that has been forgotten by many; "the fear of the Lord". 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. That key is "the fear of the Lord".

The daily verse is a real gem. It’s one of those great treasures found deep in the Old Testament. "The Lord is exalted for He 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 especially focus on the last clause which is the key to this treasure but is so lost by the majority in this world. I earnestly feel many in the church and professing Christians have also forgotten or dismiss the fear of the Lord. "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."

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, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, our generation seeks more and more knowledge all the while exercising less and less restraint toward sins that grieve Your heart and weaken our testimony. 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

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

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 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 that 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.

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Stephen & Brooksyne

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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