18 December 2011

The Fear of the Lord & Education Part 2 - Educating Generations for Christ

 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverb 9:10) This is our foundational Scripture from Part 1. 
In his book, The Fear of the Lord, John Bevere states: “Holy fear is the key to God’s sure foundation, unlocking the treasures of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.” This truth comes right out of Isaiah 33:6, “And HE shall be the sure foundation [stability] of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is his treasure.” 

Consequently, if we desire to live securely in these troubled times and teach our children and students how to do this, we must seek the Lord and ask Him to etch in our hearts and in their hearts - the holy fear of the Lord. We can only expect to receive this impartation and discernment that fears God if we are earnestly seeking God’s face (Jeremiah 29:11-14; 32:40) and spending time with Him in His Word. Then the Holy Spirit can reveal to us the fear of the Lord, for it truly is one of the manifestations of the Spirit of God (Isaiah 11:1-2).

There is an interlocking relationship between fearing God and loving God. In other words, we cannot truly love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength until we first learn to reverentially fear Him, and we cannot properly fear Him as we should until we first love Him. To fear God properly leads us to love Him wholeheartedly and appropriately. If fearing God is the beginning of wisdom and knowing God as He truly is, then loving God as He really is leads us to the fulfilling purpose of wisdom, which is to know Him intimately and is eternal life. In short, the love of God must be complemented with the fear of God.

God’s Word teaches us that we need to “Behold then the kindness and severity of God” (Rom 11:22).  We are in danger of error and judgment when the doctrine of the love of God is not balanced properly with the doctrine of the fear of the Lord. As it says in Isaiah 66:2 and Jeremiah 5:22, a person who truly fears God will tremble at His Word and in His presence. Obviously, we cannot expect to be admitted into the presence of our glorious King with an attitude of disrespect. We learn to give God the reverence He deserves by pursuing the knowledge of the greatness of His glorious character. The greater our beholding of His glory is and the comprehension of His greatness, the greater our capacity for properly fearing Him and reverencing Him according to His divine order.

“Toward Your holy temple I will bow down in fear of You [in reverence for You].” Psalm 5:7

Finally,we must learn to approach God and serve Him acceptably, in reverence and godly fear (Heb 12:28). This is the KEY to acquiring wisdom and understanding, which will lead us to an intimate relationship with God. The holy and reverential FEAR OF THE LORD is absolutely required as the foundation for all true education. 

All education that is not built on the fear of the Lord is built on the shifting sands of humanistic philosophies, and as such, will provide its students with a faulty foundation that will not stand the tests and trials of life. As an example, take a close look at the foundation of the modern American public school system: secular humanism. There is no way for a student to receive a truly godly education in the public school system because that system does not teach the fear of the Lord or the knowledge of the Holy One. In fact, state education exalts man above God and seeks to replace God with man. In such a corrupt system, God is ignored as totally insignificant, or worse, He is denounced as non-existent. Can such a system truly educate children? No, it is simply impossible, for the school system has destroyed the very foundation of all sound wisdom and understanding - the fear of the Lord and Jesus Christ. I pray that Christian parents who have their kids in public schools will wake up to this fact and see that they must in all good conscience remove their children from such an ungodly system that can never truly educate their children.

The final posting in this series, Part 3, will follow soon...

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