Holy Fear

OPENING PRAYER

My Great King, help me to prioritize You over every other thing and to live to advance Your eternal kingdom.

 

Read:ECCLESIASTES 4:13-5:7

[13] Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning. [14] The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom. [15] I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king’s successor. [16] There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. [1] Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong. [2] Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. [3] A dream comes when there are many cares, and many words mark the speech of a fool. [4] When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. [5] It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. [6] Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? [7] Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.

 

Reflect:WHAT WISDOM DOES THE TEACHER OFFER?

“Fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God'” (Psa. 14:1, NRSV). A fool, in the biblical sense, is not someone who flunks an IQ test, but one who refuses to acknowledge and reverence God. The wise, by contrast, “seek after God” (Psa. 14:2, NRSV).References to “God’s house,” “sacrifice” and “vow” point to worship as the context of Ecclesiastes 5:1-7. To “fear” God is not a trembling, cringing, recoiling from God; but this does not mean that a sloppy or lax approach is acceptable. God is Father and Friend, but also, and no less, King of kings and Lord of lords! “Watch your step…” (1a, The Message) emphasizes the importance of preparation before approaching God. “Enter to learn…” (1b) advocates a teachable and submissive spirit. Rather than mouthing a multitude of mindless or ill-considered words (2,3,7), worship is to be thoughtful; in our speech, songs and prayers, do we both say what we mean and mean what we say? Do we treat with utmost seriousness commitments made before God (4-6)? Holy fear gives rise to thoughtful worship, which goes beyond our spoken words and is the offering of our whole life.

 

APPLY

Take five minutes and sit in silence before the Lord. Settle your heart before him.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Eternal God, teach me to walk in reverence and the fear of You.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
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