29 September 2020

Proverbs 14:2

Whoever fears the Lord walks uprightly,
    but those who despise him are devious in their ways.

CS. Lewis writes of this fear phenomenon in his Narnia Chronicles in the reaction of characters when they first meet Aslan. The good are drawn to him. As the horse Hwin said to him, “Please, you’re so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I’d sooner be eaten by you than fed by anyone else.” That is the fear of the Lord. The wicked despise him. And so the witch of The Magician’s Nephew throws a bar at him and runs away in a fearful hatred.

And then, there are the sinners who do not dread him, yet are uncomfortable, for the sight of him (and hearing his voice) removes the veil by which they considered themselves. Before Aslan, excuses fall away and sin is exposed. And yet, unlike the wicked who run away in hatred, the sinners find that what follows the painful exposure of sin is the peace of forgiveness and the blessedness of welcome into Aslan’s fellowship.

So is the experience of those made righteous in Christ. To fear the Lord is to know one’s sin and the Lord’s holiness. It is to be made humble. And in that humility one finds grace. Pity the devious who only devises his own misery. Give thanks to the Lord for the grace of teaching you the fear of him.


Hebrews 5

Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.

In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,

“You are my Son;
    today I have become your Father.”[a]

And he says in another place,

“You are a priest forever,
    in the order of Melchizedek.”[b]

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.


Warning Against Falling Away

11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.