Fear of the Lord
What does it mean to fear the Lord? The best analogy I can think of is the fear a child has of his parent. Now, I know that many of us didn’t have the best of parents. We all had human parents which are flawed, just as we are flawed. Some maybe worst off than others and some don’t even try to curb their sinful nature. So, let’s just think for a moment of the ideal parent and the purpose of a parent. A parent is to protect, guard, love, teach, and train their child. The child in return loves his parent, and most children want to do what their parent wants from them. Or they don’t want their parent to find out about it. This is the type of fear that the Bible talks about when it speaks of the fear of the Lord. A child doesn’t want to please their parent because they are afraid of them, but because there is a love and affection, so he wants to please his parent.
The fear of the Lord is not something scary, frightening, something to be avoided. Nor is it the monster under the bed. It is not the fears we have of keeping our life together, the fear of failure. Rather, it is a reverence towards the Lord, it is fear in the way that you want to live your life for Him. Not because He is the big bad wolf in the clouds of heaven. More because we want to be where we know God wants us to be. That is where He can love us and care for us best. Where he wants us is always the best possible place. Because even when it is hard, we know that God is with us and He is holding us up through the difficult. To fear the Lord is to love the Lord and respect the Lord. Although, this doesn’t say it quite right either, that is the closest I can get these English words to what I feel about this. The English language is so flawed sometimes, there are not enough words.
King Hezekiah is without a doubt my Favorite King, well okay my favorite after David. He was the only King of Judah that the Bible says,
“And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done.” 2 Chronicles 29:2
King Hezekiah became the King of Judah when he was 25 years old, and he was King for 29 years. Although, it is believed that he was reigning with his father for about 14 years prior to taking the throne himself. I think that during the time that he was co-king of Judah he was watching, learning and planning how he wanted to be King. What he would do differently when his time came.
During the time he was co-king he watched as his father was turning his back on the Lord. Hezekiah was wise enough to know what was going on and that there would be consequences for the behavior of Judah as a whole. Let’s look at what was going on in Judah prior to Hezekiah becoming the King.
2 Chronicles 28 tells us the King Ahaz made molten images of Baalin, burnt his children in the fire, and followed after the ways of the heathens that God had taken out of land when Israel came into it.
Talk about consequences
Syria came and battled and carried away 200,000 women, sons and daughters to Damascus. Even the King of Israel was part of it, he came and slaughtered many.
“For Pekah the son of Remalia slew in Judah an hundred and twenty thousand in one day, which were all valiant men; because they had forsaken the Lord God of their fathers” 2 Chronicles 28:6
King Jotham was Hezekiah’s grandfather, and King prior to Ahaz. The Bible tells us that he did that which was right in the eyes of God…
“…howbeit he entered not into the temple of the LORD, and the people did yet corruptly.” 2 Chronicles 27:2
So, King Jotham didn’t really follow the Lord, he followed his father, but clearly did not have his own personal relationship with the Lord. And he clearly didn’t set a good example for his people and so they wondered away for the Lord and became “corrupt”. I image he didn’t set a very good example for his son either, who would be King Ahaz.
Hezekiah Becomes King
As soon as Hezekiah becomes King you see him jump into action. It is obvious that he cared deeply for his people, he understood that they had been taken captive and even died because they (being all of Judah) had turned their collective back on the Lord. Hezekiah knew that they had to get back to serving God and he wasted no time in setting thing right. This is what it means to fear the Lord! No wait and see here, no think about, get advice from others. Nope he knew what needed to be done and he got it done as fast as possible.
Opening the Temple
“He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of the LORD, and repaired them.” 2 Chronicles 29:3
Hezekiah opened up the temple, which his father had shut. Then he called the priest and Levites, and had then consecrate themselves. Then they could consecrate and repair the temple. He shows his fear of the Lord to God and to his people.
“Now it is in mine heart to make a covenant with the LORD God of Israel, that his fierce wrath may turn away from us.” 2 Chronicles 29:10
He was eager to show his submission to the Lord. His covenant with the Lord was a reinstatement of the covenant with David. However, after the way Judah had carried on for over 30 years it was important that they make a new commitment to follow after God. It only took 16 days for the Levites to consecrate the temple. On the 17th day King Hezekiah came to the temple with all the city officials and made a great offering to the Lord.
“And the priest killed them, and they made reconciliation with their blood upon the altar, to make an atonement for all Israel: for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.” 2 Chronicles 29:24
Did you catch that, the King of Judah made atonement for ALL of Israel, not Judah, but all of Israel. At this point in history it has been about 250 years sense Israel slit, and here is King Hezekiah making atonement as if they were one. Also, did you notice above that the King of Israel was took part in the mayhem of King Ahaz, Israel came and slaughtered many in Judah. King Hezekiah is offering to God a sacrifice for their sins against his people. Talk about a man of God.
All of Judah Praises the Lord
In verse 30 we read that King Hezekiah had instructed the Levites to have worship throughout the event. And what about the people of Judah? Look at how thrilled they were to make this new revived covenant with God.
“But the priest were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: wherefore their brethren the Levites did help them, till the work was ended,” 2 Chronicles 29:34
King Hezekiah brought his people back to the Lord, and they were glad. A new King and a bright new beginning. And Hezekiah gives the glory to the Lord.
“And Hezekiah rejoice, and all the people, that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.” 2 Chronicles 29:36
So how does this teach us about the Fear of the Lord? Look at how King Hezekiah handled a difficult situation and turned his people back to God. This is such a good example for us. We often get off course, even if it is just little things. We need to remember to take swift action as soon as we see where we have been in error. Bring our sin to the Lord, confess, repent, and accept our forgiveness. God will always be there, and He will always be loving you.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, I truly do! If this has spoke to you please share. You can comment below or you can contact me directly by hitting the contact me tab at the top of this page.
Many Blessing for you and your home!