“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom” - Proverbs 9:10
Self-preservation is the basest of instincts. To avoid injury to our own person motivates all but the arguably insane. If you add to this drive the knowledge a Creator will one day judge us and determine our eternal fate, most find this motivation enough to find out what keeps you in the good graces of this Creator.
”…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12
Fear motivates the unregenerate soul, for it has not yet learned to really love. This exemplified in a small toddler, who cannot be reasoned with, but can be taught—not yet understanding the true danger of a hot stove, and unable to receive the reason to keep his distance—quickly learns getting too close brings a stinging swat to his hand.
A child will first guides his own behavior, not out of any true desire to please or from any actual understanding of what it is to be “good, but because he fears punishment.
Fear of a Parent, and later hopefully Fear of God, acts as the entry point for all higher wisdom.
Wisdom, of course, has vast stores of treasure of more benefit than just the avoidance of pain. Wisdom enlightens, excites, brings lasting peace and even works to remove toxic and harmful beliefs. But their allure is lost in the noice of our screaming senses which drive us to constantly seek immediate gratification.
The Enemy of Our Souls knows that to keep you out of paradise, he need only block the entrance ramp to the narrow bath. Therefore, nothing has been more under attack than the fear of God. Few assaults on a biblical world view have been more savage than the assassination of the character of the Most High God, replacing the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth with a jolly, beneficent, impotent deity we might possibly get to meet one day, who may have been great in a land long ago and far away, but certainly has lost his relevance.
Starting in the 1970’s, God was inserted into movies as just one of the case, portrayed as someone who thought so little of his position that would conceivably experiment with handing his power over to Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty) or presented as a shrunken old man with coke bottle glasses, puffing on a cigar and wise cracking (Oh God! Movie Series).
And these references are outdated as Gnostic images take their place, such when as the mother of Chaos (the Oracle in The Matrix) works to defeat a wicked architect imposing order. In movies like these, the creator is treated as a force not to be feared but to be fought and defeated.
In most movies, and in all our education, God is altogether absent. Science fiction and fantasy invents endless worlds of civilizations with thousands of different beliefs. The more the supernatural invades each civilization’s beliefs, the more it’s painted as superstitious, primitive and backwards. A prime example is seen in Return of the Jedi, when the silly Ewoks bow down to C3PO in fear, signaling their ignorance.
All this seems to deliberately mask the Bible’s enclosed cosmology: a world with heaven close enough you try to build a tower to it (Genesis 6), and Hades so close that you risk falling into it with a deep enough hole. (Numbers 16:33)
“The Heavens declare the glory of God and the Firmament shows His handiwork” -Psalm 19:1
As screens fill our imagination with a false universe, they try at the same time to make sure we don’t look at the sky. Despite the health benefits of gazing at a sunrise and sunset, we are told to never, ever look directly at the sun. (A video of a sunrise was the most clear evidence easily obverse down that proves the Earth is exactly as the Bible told us it was.)
We have become more and more inside creatures, but even if we were to step outdoors at night, modern man has fills cities with lights which obscure heaven’s message. (A simple P900 zoom lens would show clearly the stars are beyond mysterious and certainly aren’t not balls of burning gas)
At least our churches should champion of the Fear of the Lord, but few places work harder to hide a transcendent God than a modern worship service. We may dress up for job interviews but are encouraged to come into God’s presence (if it’s claimed his presence is imminent) in casual attire. Reverence is dismissed as outdated, and thoughts of the transcendent are drowned out by assaults on the senses.
I challenge any one of you to read through the scriptures and see a God that does not inspire fear. Of course, through Jesus and his death on the cross for our sins, we ought to be more than convinced of God’s love for us. But like Lucy as she viewed Aslan, in C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, we can ask ourselves “is he safe?” And reflect this is a bloody silly question to ask about a lion.