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  • Proverbs 1:7
    "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

    I love reading the King James version of the Bible. Written in 1611, the language is rich and colorful, and the images are evocative of a more romantic time. The problem is, for most people, the language has changed. English, like any other language, continues to evolve, so for some people trying to read the King James is like trying to decipher a code.

    A good example is the word "Dude". Back when it was first coined in the American west, it was a derogatory description of someone who didn't have the first clue about anything (A "Dude" ranch is still considered a vacation spot for wanna be cowboys). In the 1960's and 1970's, the word became adopted by the surfing crowd as a positive name for a member of the crowd, one of the gang. In the 1990's, the only time you called someone "Dude" was when they seriously messed up in one way or the other. Recently, according to my daughters, the word "Dude" has come back into the positive, but may now identify either males or females.

    In the proverb above, the word "fear" has changed significantly since the time of Shakespeare. In our world today, we might "fear" Jason, or Freddy Kruger, or even the consequences of an illegal act. When we "fear" something today, we are afraid or feel anxious or apprehensive about a possible or probable situation or event. But in the time of Solomon, David's son, "fear" meant regard with feelings of respect and reverence; consider hallowed or exalted or be in awe of. This is the fear of the Lord.

    David feared the Lord. He knew when God was angry with him. And when this happened, he knew he had to correct something in his life or in the life of the people to please God. But, like all of us, he wasn't always certain what he had done wrong.

    You know the feeling. You walk into the house from school one day, thinking life is good and mom has supper on the stove and your favorite show is on tonight, and ...... whoa. Mom didn't say hello. She shot you a look that says, 'I'm so upset I'm not speaking to you." You go to your room without a word, knowing something is coming, but not quite sure what.

    Being mortal and human, David had these moments. As we learn later in the new testament, no one is without sin. We all screw up. But David knew what to do. David prayed.

    Psalm Thirteen
    How long will this punishment go on, Lord?
    How long will you turn your face from me and not speak?
    How long will I be in this isolation, worried you might not forgive me?
    How long will my enemies sin without fear?
    Hear me, Oh Lord, and open my eyes.
    Correct me, Lord, or I will surely perish in my sin.
    Don't let the evil and wicked men think their way is right.
    I have trusted in your word, Lord, and my soul will be saved by you.
    I will rejoice and honor you, Lord, for you will be merciful and forgive me.

    If you feel like there is a growing distance between you and God, it wasn't Him that moved.


    (The picture above was taken in Karachi Bay in 1979 from the deck of the U.S.S. Dixie (AD-14) while we were in the Indian Ocean. I made an oil painting on canvas from the photo, and when Crystal Anne was about four years old, she titled it "That Lady in That Boat". The name stuck, and the painting is hers.)
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