He Is Our Dread and Our Sanctuary

by Bethany

Highlighted Text: Job 28:28
Full Text: Job 28; 1 Cor. 14

Advances | Today, we have thousands of ways to access information and tons of timesaving devices. But do we have more wisdom or time? In 1934, T.S. Eliot reflected,

The endless cycle of idea and action,
Endless invention, endless experiment,
Brings knowledge of motion but not of stillness …
Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? [1].

Wisdom | Job, too, praised modern technology in his time: “Man puts his hand to the flinty rock … He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle“ [2]. Yet he wondered whether those advances brought more wisdom: “But where shall wisdom be found? … Man does not know its worth … God understands the way to it … And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding“ [3].

Picture | What is the fear of the Lord? John Piper offers a picture. Imagine a small child meeting a large German shepherd. The dog greets the unfamiliar child with barks and growls, but – in time – becomes calm and friendly. Nonetheless, the owner warns the child, “Don’t run from him.” But the child forgets and, when the dog trots behind him, the child starts to run because he can only remember the dog’s scary barks, not its friendly licks. Then, as expected, the dog barks and growls again. As Piper says, this is the fear of the Lord: “Do not fear to draw near, but keep the fear of the dog (the fear of the Lord) before your eyes, lest you try to run away (lest you start to fall into sin)” [4]. In other words, “God is a joy to be near and a terror to those who flee” [5].

Prayer | Lord, Let us not run from you, but to you. As we grow wiser and shun evil, let us fear fleeing from your fellowship because we want it so much. Warm our hearts in your refuge and strength so that we know that our peace and hope is found in wisdom, not information. Then we will say with Isaiah, “The Lord of hosts … let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he will become a sanctuary” [6]. Amen.

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Footnotes

[1] T.S. Eliot. “The Rock.” (1934): entire text here.  |  [2] Job 28:3, 9, 11 ESV  |  [3] Job 28:12, 13, 23, 28 ESV  |  [4] See John Piper, “A Woman Who Fears the Lord Is to Be Praised.” 10 May 1981.  |  [5] Id.  |  [6] See Isaiah. 8:13

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