My recent word meditation discussion as well as the Sunday Sermon touched on the fear of God. Since I do not want to see it as a mere coincidence, I decided that I should re-read the book titled ‘the Joy of Fearing God’ by Jerry Bridges (especially when I couldn’t carry on with C.S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain’ after his soul-sapping ‘The Screwtape Letters’). And I saw that it was one of those rare books where I highlighted and made notes in the book. I enjoyed the book after the first reading, and with the second, I discovered gems that I overlooked previously. A couple of sentences from the first chapter reads, ‘Any sphere of knowledge you’re engaged in – every aspect of your workaday world – should be to you as a believer a source of wonder and worship and should be used as a means of glorifying God. And it will be if you enjoyed the fear of God.’ Before this, the author used the example of how his discovery of the intricacies of the human ear anatomy while waiting at the doctor’s office brought him to fellowship with God spontaneously. I guess I’m attracted to this example because I desire to have such spontaneous personal worship, yet it rarely occurs. Somehow, I have lost the wonder of discovery. Perhaps it’s because of my Biology background (well, science does demystify things); or maybe my brain registers such phenomena as amusement rather than amazement due to the desensitising effect of entertainment. I don’t know; I’ve never really gone through any psychoanalysis to find out (‘cause I’m not a psycho… haha…). Never mind.
Anyway, the second sentence mentioned the enjoyment of the fear of God. I did understand that this is Biblically correct and possible after the first reading, but this understanding was superficial. It didn’t travel to the heart, and neither was it worked out. That’s why the perspective of fear was still etched within me as something that’s morbid and repulsive. Even when I knew that Jesus Christ Himself delighted in the fear of the Lord, as Isaiah prophesied (Isa. 1:1-3). It’s not just God delighting in those who fear Him, but the reverse was true as well: Jesus delighted in the fear of God. This fear is defined as reverential awe in the book written by Bridges, which should be a rightful response to God. In addition, an illumination during the word meditation discussion was that, if this is a fear that would keep one close to God, then one would delight in that fear as this fear would guard his/her relationship with God. So I guess the question is whether this relationship with God matters to me, and if so, whether I would seek the right fear of God. My head says yes, and I want my heart to say yes wholeheartedly as well.