Shepherds • Devotion #2: Great Fear
Wes McCullough | Production Director
Have you ever been outside during a thunderstorm when a giant lightning bolt is followed by a massive boom? In an instant, your legs can go limp and your heart races. A close encounter of a strong thunderstorm makes you feel vulnerable and insignificant. It is not just about the possible physical harm, at that moment you have a renewed respect for the strength of the storm.
“And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’” Luke 2:9-10
I imagine the surprise of an angel appearing before you is much more intense than a thunder boom. You would probably fall to your knees in their heavenly presence. I do not think you would fear harm from them, but you would certainly have absolute respect for their authority. I believe this is the fear the shepherds experienced in Luke 2 when they were visited by an angel.
The Bible speaks a lot about the fear of the Lord. In many instances, it is in the context of teaching life lessons and promises wisdom, knowledge, and life.
“The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.” Proverbs 19:23
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10
“For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and he is to be feared above all gods.” 1 Chronicles 16:25
“For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:4
“Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!” Psalm 112:1
If you are always cognizant of God’s infinite power and authority, you need not be afraid of the Heavenly Father. Respect His power, His justice, His authority, and always know that He has a plan with your best interests in mind.