In the fear of the Lord one has strong confidence,
and it will be a refuge for his children.
The fear of the Lord is like a life-giving fountain,
to turn people from deadly snares.
We’ve talked about what it means to fear the Lord in the past, so I won’t get into too much detail about that today. But, we do see a very interesting contrast in today’s proverb that I think is worth highlighting. Fear vs. confidence.
In fact, that is usually how we think of them. We think of fear as being the opposite of confidence. If you are afraid of something, you don’t have the confidence to do it. If you’re afraid of the dark, you don’t have the confidence to step into a dark room. If you’re afraid of heights, you don’t have the confidence to go to the top of a sky-scraper. Fear is never associated with confidence. Except with God.
With God, it is in fear that we find confidence. What? With God, it is in fear that we find life? Seriously? “Dude must be on something good, can I get some?”
Think about how we normally view fear. Why are we afraid of something? Typically because we aren’t sure of our own ability to do whatever it is we are afraid of doing. We don’t walk across the tight rope because we’re afraid of falling. We know that it’s possible, because we’ve seen others do it, but we aren’t confident in our own ability to do it. So we get afraid.
Human fear is born out of our own insecurities and inabilities. That’s just how we are. We aren’t immortal. We aren’t sovereign. We aren’t all the things God is.
And that is why the fear of the Lord is the life-giving fountain to turn us from deadly snares. That’s why the fear of the Lord is a refuge for us, His children. That’s why we can be confident, because God is all the things we are not. And when our fear is in Him, we know that we are not God and He is. When our fear is in His ways, we know that He knows how to get us where we need to go better than we do.
The Lord is all those things that we aren’t. We may not be sure of our own ability, but we can be 100% sure of God’s ability. We know something is impossible to us, but with God, all things are possible. We are insecure, but God is completely secure and we find our security in Him. We are inept, but God is completely capable and we find our capacity to perform in Him. We are mortal and know that one fall, one blow to the head could be the end of us, but God is immortal – there is nothing that can Kill God. We barely have control over ourselves, if that, but God has control over the entire universe.
But God. Just take all your insufficiencies and put that phrase at the end of them, But God. And there you will find life.