Posted by: SandreS | January 6, 2010

Fear: An Elementary Education

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10).
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7).
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).

One thing that should stand out to us in the three verses above is that fear is only the “beginning” of wisdom and knowledge. It is only man’s starting place with God, his Creator.

Many miss this important truth, and in so doing, they overlook the pure elementary nature of fear. The “fear of the Lord” is mankind’s first approach to God. It is the awesome discovery of who we really are, and who He really is. It is humanity’s approach to God in infancy and immaturity – seeing Him as the righteous almighty One!

Note carefully the first verse quoted above, along with the next phase that is to follow:

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do His commandments … (Psalms 111:10).

We see the connection between “the fear of the Lord” and doing “His commandments.” The “commandments,” or the “law,” is associated with fear. When God gave “the law of commandments” at Sinai the children of Israel “trembled” in fear; but the “law” and its natural fear in relationship to God was only divine elementary education. It was simply a “schoolmaster” to bring us to the Lord Jesus Christ (and who among us has not feared the schoolmaster!).

Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster (Galatians 3:24-25).

Because the “schoolmaster” has brought us to Christ, we are no longer enrolled in its elementary process of “fear.” As mature, adult “sons of God,” our childish, immature “children of God” “fear” of the Father is replaced by the fullness of “love.”

Little wonder Paul wrote:

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7).

Hear these words! “God has not given us the spirit of fear!” God has not given us a place as fearful children. Fear has no place in our relationship with the Father. We have been given a place of mature, adult sonship. What He has given us in replacement of elementary “fear” is power, love and a sound mind.

John wrote of this as well:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He who fears is not made perfect in love (I John 4:18).

Hear these words as well. “There is no fear in love.” None! There is no place for “fear” in the life of the mature believer, for he has been completely submerged in the glorious love of the Father,

Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us (Romans 5:5).

The very definition of our Father is Love – “God is Love” (I John 4:8, 16). He is Love – in fact He is perfect Love – and “perfect love casts out fear.” Fear and love are exclusive of each other. The issue is one of really knowing Who God is; of actually getting to know Him.

Our first approach to God is in ignorance and fear. Then, as we come to known Him in truth – as we become acquainted with His genuine nature of love – fear is driven from our lives, for “perfect love casts out fear.”

Only those who do not yet know Him, or do not yet know Him very well, fear Him, for “he who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
Bible Student’s Notebook
© 2008, 2010

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