We hear it all of the time--"there are two sides to everything." It usually means that disagreements arise from different ways of looking at the same thing. Morley's devotion today gives us two sides on the fear of the Lord, but both sides come from the same perspective.
It is almost difficult to avoid a passage on the fear of the Lord when you begin a Bible study. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Wisdom sounds enticing, but what is the fear of the Lord? It is a concept, not a thing. It must be understood, even though it cannot be seen with our eyes or held in our hands. How can we describe things that we cannot see or touch? In this world where we are surrounded by material things, it takes time and effort to develop an understanding of concepts like the fear of the Lord. When the concept is understood, though, material things are more easily understood.
Although the fear of the Lord can be difficult to describe or understand, Morley does a good job of giving us some tools to start practicing the fear of the Lord as we grow in our understanding of this concept. He does it with two sides of one coin. On one side of the coin we love wisdom. On the other side of the coin we hate evil. Both are essential elements of fearing the Lord.
Do we seek wisdom as we move in God's world? Do we even recognize wisdom when we encounter it? Do we love wisdom when we see it? Look for wisdom today. Look for it in the innocent words of a young child. Look for it in the words of a friend or counselor. Look for it everywhere, for God can reveal His wisdom in surprising ways.
Do we hate evil? Or do we simply let evil happen and attribute it somehow to God's greater plan? Make no mistake--evil is NOT a part of God's greater plan. God hates evil and will not tolerate evil in His presence. If we fear the Lord, if we would serve God, then evil must be intolerable to us, too.
The fear of the Lord is one coin. Heads we love wisdom. Tails we hate evil. Either way, fear God.
Dear Lord, you are awesome! Your wisdom is wonderful, but it is beyond my understanding. Your intolerance for evil is wonderful, too, but a fearful thing to me because of my sinful nature. Make me hungry for your wisdom. Let my eyes and ears be open to your word and your will for me today. Let my eyes and ears also recognize the evil in and around me. Let me hate evil so that I will reject it in my own words and deeds, and so that I will reject it in your name when evil is being done in my home, my community, and my world. Amen.
Grace and peace--