the end of fearing the lord
what it means to follow the wisdom of proverbs
Like most Christians, I’ve always had questions about what it actually means to fear the Lord. In the past, I’ve approached these questions abstractly. Like many biblical scholars, I surveyed the Christian Scriptures to find examples of what this fear might look like, parsed through the possible linguistic connotations of different words used for “fear,” and tried to reconcile God’s love and mercy with this command that I took to be related more to judgment than joy.
Often the command to “fear the Lord” has been utilized to instill fear of judgment and condemnation upon readers in efforts to enforce a legalistic adherence to Scripture’s commandments. I don’t think this is correct. Our fear of the Lord should not drive us to follow God’s commands in reaction to fear of judgment, but rather the consequences (ends) of this fear ought to divinely draw us to follow God’s commandments out of love, wisdom, and knowledge.
Here is why:
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