Whoever walks in uprightness fears the Lord,
but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
C. S. Lewis writes of this fear phenomenon in his Narnia Chronicles in the reaction of characters when they first meet Aslan. The good are drawn to him. As the horse Hwin said to him, “Please, you’re so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I’d sooner be eaten by you than fed by anyone else.” That is the fear of the Lord. The wicked despise him. And so the witch of The Magician’s Nephew throws a bar at him and runs away in a fearful hatred.
And then, there are the sinners who do not dread him, yet are uncomfortable, for the sight of him (and hearing his voice) removes the veil by which they considered themselves. Before Aslan, excuses fall away and sin is exposed. And yet, unlike the wicked who run away in hatred, the sinners find that what follows the painful exposure of sin is the peace of forgiveness and the blessedness of welcome into Aslan’s fellowship.
So is the experience of those made righteous in Christ. To fear the Lord is to know one’s sin and the Lord’s holiness. It is to be made humble. And in that humility one finds grace. Pity the devious who only devises his own misery. Give thanks to the Lord for the grace of teaching you the fear of him.
© 2021 Tenth Presbyterian Church.
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