Saturday, November 2, 2013

Fear the Lord

(Some amazing Bald Eagles we had the privilege of watching on our recent trip to Washington.  Did you know that Arizona is the only state in the nation in which Bald Eagle populations haven't recovered?)

Isaiah 11: 1- 5 (NLT)

Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—

    yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.

And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
He will delight in obeying the Lord.
    He will not judge by appearance
    nor make a decision based on hearsay.
He will give justice to the poor
    and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of his word,
    and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
He will wear righteousness like a belt
    and truth like an undergarment.

I've been reading through the book of Isaiah, following Matthew.  Yes, the order is perhaps backwards, or might seem so, but it's what the Lord led me to do, so there you have it.

This passage jumped out and grabbed me.  Once again, the order in which it grabbed was, well, out of the order in which it was written.  First, verse 3, He will delight in obeying the Lord.  I pondered this for quite a while, wondering how often I actually delight in obeying Him.  

I determined that this is something I can work on.  When the LORD directs me to do a thing, I can choose to take delight in the obedience.  In some of the specific areas, that will be difficult.

Next, I was captured by the idea that he wears righteousness and truth.  It took me to another scripture which I was memorizing a while back (and since I haven't been practicing, have largely forgotten, ack!), 

Colossians 3:12 - 14 which says 'Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  and over all these virtues, put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity.

I'd pondered over this bit because I hadn't quite nailed down in my mind what it meant to clothe oneself.  But thanks to my husbands input, I think I've come to a better understanding.  Jeremy points out that one chooses clothing as a way to identify who one is.  So, if I am putting on humility and kindness and so forth, I'm identifying myself with Christ.  Well that is certainly something I want to do, hmmm, now to update my wardrobe.

And finally, I was wowed by verse 2. 

And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Jesus himself had the Spirit of knowledge coupled with fear of the Lord.  And the result was that he delighted to obey the Lord.  If you and I do not have a fear of the Lord, we'll lack a desire to obey, we won't dress ourselves in righteousness and truth, we won't have wisdom or understanding or be empowered by the Spirit of God.  

What struck me is that we must have fear of the Lord in order to have all the rest.  Well it's not the first time we come across this concept in Scripture now is it? Proverbs 1:7 which says:

    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Or what about Abraham in Genesis 22, specifically verse 12:

Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.

Abraham demonstrated that he feared the Lord through his obedience.  Hmmm, I wonder if he delighted in obeying in that instance?  God's Word is so full of places that explain what it is to love Him, serve Him, obey Him and I am so thankful today that He generously showed me this.