Fear Factor

Day 30

Exodus 10:1‐12:13; Matthew 20:1‐28; Psalm 25:1‐15; Proverbs 6:6‐11

Fear Factor

A popular TV show in recent years was the reality show “Fear Factor.” It showed people facing their greatest fears in some really weird ways. Why do we watch such fake shows when there are real fears in our world today? Just watch the news, and you see wars, economic downturns, pollution of the environment.

It’s wise to fear some things. If a person doesn’t fear high-voltage electricity and poisonous snakes, he or she is a fool. We need to be careful. In today’s Psalm, David addresses the Lord, asking to be taught God’s ways and God’s path (v 4). His confidence to petition the Lord comes not because he’s perfect. Quite the opposite, he admits to the “sins of my youth” (v. 7). But because he fears the Lord, he’s open to receive God’s mercy and love that come with God’s covenant. Only those who fear the Lord are open to the lessons God offers: “Who are they that fear the Lord? He will teach them the way that they should choose” (v. 12).

The Bible’s wisdom literature teaches over and over again that “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7). It doesn’t say “The love of God” is the beginning of wisdom. Rather, it says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

We live in a world filled with fears and phobias. Many are real. A few are not. We need to be able to tell the difference between those that are dangerous and those that are demonic. If we genuinely believe in God’s power and might, in the limitless resources of God’s wisdom and glory, then what else have we to fear?

The Rev. Phyllis Bartle
St. Jude’s Episcopal Church
Orange City, FL


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