As soon as we hear the phrase “The Fear of the Lord…” some basic ideas can be brought to mind. Often times, we conclude that this phrase must create one of the following thoughts: Either (A) We think of God as being completely wrathful and, therefore, completely terrifying OR (B) We think of God as being one who is to be feared and so it is impossible for Him to actually love people, which then causes for people to decide that He must not be such a ‘great’ God.
Still, the prophet Isaiah reminds us of the truth in the Word: “The Lord of Hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 8:13-14)
Knowing that the Lord “is our fear” is a reminder that God is to be honored and loved. He does not ‘need’ us to love Him, but because HE loves us, He receives our love. In this, we find that “our fear” is not one of whom we are to be afraid, but rather one that is better described as AWE for our AWEsome God. We realize the beauty and the freedom that we find in the Lord being “our fear,” for we are no longer bound to sin, but we are bound with Him.
As Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave, we too die in our baptismal waters and rise to new life in the Risen Christ. In these saving waters of life, we are bound to “our fear” — our truly AWEsome God — who is our sanctuary. God Himself — our sanctuary and place of salvation — becomes salvation for us, that we would not be left to stumble over our misplaced and sinful fear. Instead, we are kept in the sanctuary of His saving and AWEsome love, both now and into eternity.
Therefore, with great joy, we live out the Word as the Forgiven and saved people of God. As it is spoken by the prophet Isaiah, we honor the Lord of Hosts — our AWEsome God — as Holy.
Peace, hope, and love in all ways & always,