I don’t know about you, but for me as a mom a secure fortress that’s a refuge for my children sounds like a wonderful thing. And a fountain of life doesn’t sound too bad either.
So how do I get those things? The fear of the Lord.
I studied literary translation in college and I often enjoy reading a Bible passage in a couple of translations because I feel like it often adds to my understanding of what the writer was trying to get at. It paints a fuller picture, if you will. Here are the same verses in the Message-
“The Fear-of-God builds up confidence,
and makes a world safe for your children.
The Fear-of-God is a spring of living water
so you won’t go off drinking from poisoned wells.”
The fear of the Lord is a big topic, but I want to zero in on one little aspect of it here- confidence.
You would generally not say that fear builds confidence. When we are afraid we tend to be unsure, scared, unsettled even. When I chose to give in to my fear of anything other than God I am saying that whatever I am afraid of is bigger than God. By giving in to those fears I am saying that God is not sovereign over those things.
But when we fear God we have confidence. When I fear God I do not fear other things. In fearing God I am acknowledging that he is greater than all things and overshadows all other things that I could be afraid of.
God is bigger and more powerful than any other thing that I could ever fear. So unlike any other fear, the fear of God grants confidence.
And that confidence enables me to make a secure refuge in our home for our children. Our home can be a refuge because it is a place where the fear of the Lord is the only fear. 1 John 4:18 says that “…perfect love drives out fear”. And I believe that the fear of the Lord helps to keep other fears in perspective.
As a human being and a mom of two I know that it is foolish to say that I live this out perfectly- because I don’t. Just like you I have fears, especially for my kids. My husband tends to joke that if I could send them out in a bubble to keep them safe that I would. He doesn’t know that I would never do that though, because I’m too afraid of them being teased.
But bubble or no bubble, I know that they will be teased. They will get hurt. And I can’t stop those things from happening. But I have confidence that our home is a safe refuge. It is a place where God sits on the throne as he should- where God is honored and feared and loved. And it is a place where hopefully my children see their parents have a healthy fear of God and subject our other fears to that fear.
If I am able to show my boys’ that then I will be very happy because as verse 27 says “the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life”. True and eternal life is the ultimate refuge and I want them to have that more than anything else.
My thoughts this week are from this week’s Good Morning Girls readings. We are reading through the Bible one chapter each week day and you are more than welcome to join us!