Monthly Archives: January 2006

… the beginning of wisdom.

For a long time I’ve been dissatisfied with my ability to adequately explain the word fear in the concept “the fear of God.” For those who misunderstand this idea, what comes to their mind is repugnant, and many Christians, also misunderstanding, apologize for the term and try to explain it away.

But just now studying Psalm 51 for my class, Exegesis of Selected Psalms, I have come across a great explanation of the fear of God.

The human correlate of the holiness of God is the fear of God. However, the fear of God is not a terror which drains away the vitality of the divine-human relationship. The fear of God and the awareness of the holy presence has a “mysterious power of attraction which is converted into wonder, obedience, self-surrender, and enthusiasm” (Eichrodt, Theology of the Old Testament, II, 270).

— Tate, Word Biblical Commentary: Psalms 51 – 100, p. 24

Too funny. Too close to home. — Part II

I am supposed to be working on a presentation I am to give tomorrow morning for my work with The Master’s Academy International. Frustrated at how easily I allow myself to be distracted from the task at hand, I leaned back in my chair and groaned aloud to my precious wife of barely eight weeks, “Elsiene! I am a procrastinator of the worst kind.”

Came her reply: “I’m glad you waited one and a half months to tell me.”

To be read aloud…

The God of Tempest and Earthquake
by Mather Byles (1706-1788)
Thy dreadful pow’r, Almighty God,
Thy works to speak conspire;
This earth declares Thy fame abroad,
With water, air, and fire.

At Thy command, in glaring streaks,
Thy ruddy lightning flies;
Loud thunder the creation shakes,
And rapid tempests rise.

Now gathering glooms obscure the day,
And shed a solemn night;
And now the heav’nly engines play,
And shoot devouring light.

The attending sea Thy will performs,
Waves tumble to the shore,
And toss, and foam amid the storms,
And dash, and rage, and roar.

The earth and all the trembling hills,
Thy marching footsteps own;
A shuddering fear her entrails fills,
Her hideous caverns groan.

My God, when terror thickest throng,
Through all the mighty space,
And rattling thunders roar along,
And bloody lightning blaze.

When wild confusion wrecks the air,
And tempests rend the skies,
While blended ruin, clouds and fire
In harsh disorder rise.

Amid the hurricane I’ll stand
And strike a tuneful song;
My harp all trembling in my hand,
And all inspired my tongue.

I’ll shout aloud, “Ye thunders, roll,
And shake the sullen sky;
Your sounding voice from pole to pole
In angry murmurs try.”

Thou sun, retire, refuse thy light,
And let thy beams decay;
Ye lightnings, flash along the night,
And dart a dreadful day.

Let the earth totter on her base,
Clouds heavens wide arch deform;
Blow, all ye winds, from every place,
And breathe the final storm.

O Jesus, haste the glorious day,
When Thou shalt come in flame,
And burn the earth, and waste the sea,
And brake all nature’s frame.

Come quickly, blessed hope, appear,
Bid Thy swift chariot fly;
Let angels warn Thy coming near,
And snatch me to the sky.

Around Thy wheels, in the glad throng,
I’d bear a joyful part;
All hallelujah on my tongue,
All rapture in my heart.