Healthy Fear – Why It’s Called Grand
Key Bible Verse: “The Lord Almighty is the one … you are to dread.” – Isaiah 8:13 NIV
Bonus Reading: Luke 12:4-5
Not long after our Toronto visit, we went to the Grand Canyon, where you can stand at the South Rim and peer 6,000 feet straight down. There you’re not separated from your doom by blocks of glass 2 1/2# inches thick. So every year an average of four or five visitors die. Some deaths happen because of (in one website’s words) “overly zealous photographic endeavors.” Still, the same awesome beauty of the Grand Canyon that caused me fear also drew me toward it.
When the Bible talks about “fearing God,” what is it talking about? Is it the kind of fear I felt at the CN Tower? Or is it more like the fear I felt at the Grand Canyon? Christian preachers and writers have maintained it’s like the fear I felt standing on the glass floor at the CN Tower—1,100 feet up but completely safe. Feeling any terror with God is unnecessary, maybe even irrational. But the Bible disagrees. Read Isaiah’s words [in today’s Key Bible Verse]. It’s not just awe, and not just reverence. It’s the kind of fear I felt at the Grand Canyon, where I was drawn to the amazing beauty, but also felt a realistic fear at the danger, because people who acted foolishly near it have died.
—Kevin Miller in PreachingToday.com
My Response: Since perfect love banishes panicky fear (1 John 4:16-18), what healthy fear should I retain?
Thought to Apply: The highest point a man can attain is not knowledge, or virtue, or goodness, or victory, but something even greater, more heroic, and more despairing: sacred awe! —Nikos Kazantzais (Greek author)
Adapted from PreachingToday.com.