Friday, January 15, 2010

Help me with Fear

I'm preaching this Sunday on the Fear of the Lord.

Here is my text: Deuteronomy 6:13-19:
It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. 14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— 15 for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. 17 You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. 18 And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers 19 by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has promised.
Lots of great stuff there. Lots to talk about. But you can help me:
  • Why fear?
  • How does the dynamic of fear help you to love God?
  • What is your testimony of the Fear of the Lord?
  • How does this message become evangelistic?
  • Who is good to read on Fear? (Besides Kierkegaard... I don't have the time... :)
Any other thoughts or reflections on fear would be great.



Mark said...

(Peter Bolt has a crack at summarising Kierkegaard on anxiety in The Consolations of Theology ~ only 30 pages long!)

Laura said...

I did a pretty length personal word study on fear in the Bible a couple of years ago and loved it, mostly for its simplicity. I did it mostly because I was having a conversation with one of Josh's friends who was a Navy Seal, and I made the remark, "So, I guess you have a healthy fear of the sea?" And he, without hesitation, said, "No, to fear anything other than God is sin." And that really caught me off guard, which is why I did the study after thinking about it for 6 months. And what I loved about the study is that over and over again, very simply, God commanded his people not to fear anything but Him. I found the Fear of the Lord not to be an idea in and of itself, but an idea born out of the need to turn away from our default position of fearing man, the future, everything but God. It was a great study, and it has always stayed with me.

ihn said...

I find it interesting how we are told to keep the commandements so that we may fear. That is, by loving GOd we learn to fear him. ( there must be a dynamic relatoin between the two Deut6:2 )

I think its interesting because normally fear is a reactive or awestruck response to an object rather than something that we learn through keeping commandments, in the case of Deut, commandments to love GOd.

Martin said...

Ed Welch's book, "When People Are Big and God Is Small," contrasts the fear of God with the fear of man. "The person who fears God will fear nothing else," he wrote. Nothing in this world is so huge and powerful and just as our Lord. The more we embrace God and realize this, the less we worry about the other stuff--"peer pressure," the influence of dishonest friends, our jealousy of non-believers, the instability of the crazy boss...

If you can get your hands on the Welch book, I'd much recommend it.

byron smith said...

Probably too late, but Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear is also good.

If anyone has any other recommendations on fear, I'm all ears, since it is very important to my own work at the moment.