FEAR OF THE LORD
In The Chronicles of Narnia, an allegory by C.S. Lewis, the author has two girls, Susan
and Lucy, getting ready to meet Aslan the lion, who represents Christ. Two talking
animals, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, prepare the children for the encounter. "Ooh,"
said Susan, "I though he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous
about meeting a lion." "That you will, dearie." said Mrs. Beaver. "And
make no mistake, if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knee's
knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."
"Then isn't he safe?" said Lucy. "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver.
"Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? Of course
he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the king, I tell you!"
Our Daily Bread, February 17, 1994.
We fear men so much because we fear God so little.
One time many years ago, the king of Hungary found himself depressed and unhappy. He
sent for his brother, a good-natured but rather indifferent prince. The king said to him,
"I am a great sinner; I fear to meet God." But the prince only laughed at him.
This didn't help the king's disposition any. Though he was a believer, the king had gotten
a glimpse of his guilt for the way he'd been living lately, and he seriously wanted help.
In those days it was customary if the executioner sounded a trumpet before a man's door at
any hour, it was a signal that he was to be led to his execution. The king sent the
executioner in the dead of night to sound the fateful blast at his brother's door. The
prince realized with horror what was happening. Quickly dressing, he stepped to the door
and was seized by the executioner, and dragged pale and trembling into the king's
presence. In an agony of terror he fell on his knees before his brother and begged to know
how he had offended him. "My brother," answered the king, "if the sight of
a human executioner is so terrible to you, shall not I, having grievously offended God,
fear to be brought before the judgment seat of Christ?"
Walk Through Rewards.
David McCullough in his book Mornings On Horseback tells this story about young
Teddy Roosevelt: Mittie (his mother) had found he was so afraid of the Madison Square
Church that he refused to set foot inside if alone. He was terrified, she discovered, of
something called the "zeal." It was crouched in the dark corners of the church
ready to jump at him, he said. When she asked what a zeal might be, he said he was not
sure, but thought it was probably a large animal like an alligator or a dragon. He had
heard the minister read about it from the Bible. Using a concordance, she read him those
passages containing the word ZEAL until suddenly, very excited, he told her to stop. The
line was from the Book of John, 2:17: "And his disciples remembered that it was
written, 'The ZEAL of thine house hath eaten me up'" People are still justifiably
afraid to come near the "zeal" of the Lord, for they are perfectly aware it
could "eat them up" if they aren't one of His. Our Lord is good, but He isn't
David McCullough, Mornings On Horseback.