January 29, 2009

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

I'm thinking this morning about the dangerous call of the prophet. Moses tells the people of Israel that they will have prophets, just as they requested, but he is clear that some will come along who speak words that God has not commanded. Some, it seems, will be led astray. I feel like we're still seeing Moses' promise play out even today.

I've mentioned before how sometimes I get stuck on the religious channels that our cable company provides. Last night I was mesmerized by the platinum blond locks of Mrs. Jack Van Impe (sorry my feminist friends, I didn't catch her name). Anyway, Mr. (or is it Dr.) and Mrs Van Impe were selling a DVD entitled, Decemeber 21, 2012: The End of History. In this DVD they explain why they agree with the many "seers" who over the last 2100 years have pointed to Dec 21, 2012 as the end of the world. I won't go into the development of the Gregorian calendar here, but suffice it to say, I'm not buying.

What amazed me, honestly, was that on a channel like TBN, where the battle between the spiritual forces of God and wickedness is so readily acknowledged, a DVD would be sold promising the return of Jesus on a date picked out by "seers" (i.e. false prophets, astrologers, pagans, etc.) I mean, come on.

So this morning, as I read, I was once again struck by that high calling for prophets. I'm reminded by the Psalmist that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom," and that when wisdom is founded in pride, conceit, or greed - it will lead not to blessing, but to death. I realize yet again, that my call to preach the gospel must be rooted in humility that comes from a healthy fear of the Lord; I must never be so bold as to think I speak for God, but instead must allow God to speak.

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