Deuteronomy 10:12


Can you help me understand being "required" to fear the Lord?  In my understanding of the Lord, in my personal relationship with Him, I feel He wants only the best for me (beyond my own imaginings) and always has my back. I find no fear in this.  Is there more to or less than my understanding of the word "fear" in this context?  Is it a sin to live my life without "fearing" the Lord?



I feel safe in assuring you that you are not committing a sin by living without fear of the Lord. As is so often the case, it's important to consider what the word might have meant in the original Hebrew Bible, and how that meaning might have changed through centuries of translation and interpretation. In its biblical sense 'fear' is more akin to 'awe.' It's that feeling of being almost struck dumb in amazement and gratitude for the totality of the Divine, especially as it expresses in our individual lives. That is the sense in which 'fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,' as we read at Proverbs 9:10. True wisdom about living a life must begin with a realization of the infinite Love that we express, and that is available to us always. So while I might personally question 'the Lord' as an anthropomorphized being that 'has your back,' that is certainly the beginning of wisdom. It may lead to a further realization that the Lord is your back. And your front, and your insides and outsides. You and the Lord are one!


Rev. Ed