Word for Wednesday – The Stove
My 7-year-old granddaughter and I have a tradition that started with my children - making pancakes on Saturday mornings. We even have a secret ingredient. No, I’m not telling!
Charlotte sits on the counter and stirs the batter, while I prepare the stove and pan for cooking. For as long as I can remember, I have been saying to her, “Don’t come near the stove!” “The stove is HOT and will HURT you!” I have instilled a healthy fear of the stove in her. But if she grows up and continues to fear stoves, and is forever separated from them, then I will probably be footing some counseling bills for her.
It’s one thing to fear the stove will harm you; it’s quite another, as an adult, to never use a stove or get near a stove because you fear it. Yet, we must still be careful around stoves.
What about God? Aren’t we to fear Him? What’s healthy or not? Glad you asked. Let’s walk through some verses and see.
Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (ESV)
Hebrews 12:28-29 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire. (TLB)
Some people fear God and death, or separation from God. They never enter a relationship with God. This fear is like only fearing the stove and never getting close to the stove.
In the second passage, the writer of Hebrews describes to the believer what fear looks like to them. It is a Holy Reverence, a healthy fear and an awe of God. It’s like an adult fearing the stove, yet appreciating what a stove can do for us.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. (NIV)
After we understand and see fear as a healthy reverence toward God, we can then have the wisdom to know God. I have learned that generally the better you know someone, the more you trust them. If I am not trusting God enough, perhaps I don’t know Him well enough.
Father help us to both love you and understand you, while at the same time having a very real and reverent fear for you. In Christ’s name, Amen.