If we try to read the Bible and understand it with today’s definitions, we will surely miss some principles and take their meanings differently. For example, Proverbs teaches us to “fear the Lord.” But, if we would look at its original translation, in the Hebrew language, we will see that fear or Yirah in Hebrew is not at all ‘fearing God.’
Yirah or Fear
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Many people take this passage to teach others that we should indeed fear God. In addition, they would portray God’s anger shown in the Old Testament in an attempt to prove that God is rightly to be feared. As a result, Christians view God as a scary God, failing to see His loyal love for His children.
However, the Hebrew word, Yirah, used from the English interpretation of ‘fear,’ is a different kind of fear. It means being in ‘awe.’
Moses in Exodus 3 shows this kind of fear. God appeared to Moses in flames of fire within the bush. Strangely, the bush was not consumed. So, Moses went closer to the bush and checked on it. But, God revealed Himself as the God of his forefathers and warned him of not getting closer. At this, Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God.
The fear of the Lord
Moses was in total awe of God. It is like what we feel when we see something overwhelming. For example, what do you feel when you are in a boat, in the middle of an ocean, and suddenly, the biggest whale you have ever seen jumped right in front of you? You might be awestruck and ‘scared.’
In the same way, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Having the sense of wonder and awe of God helps us know Him more and all that He can do. It leads us to trust Him and see His mighty work in our midst.
Reference: Youtube | IsraelU
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