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FEAR AND THE MESSIAH

Daily Devotional Isaiah 11:1–5


In C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Susan and Lucy were preparing to meet Aslan, the Christ-figure in the Narnia series, for the very first time. “Is he quite safe?” Susan asked. “I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.” “That you will, dearie,” replied Mrs. Beaver. “And make no mistake, if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” Mr. Beaver added, “Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you!”


He will delight in the fear of the LORD.

ISAIAH 11:3


This in a nutshell is the fear of the Lord, a fear that is also respect, awe, and—for believers—love. Isaiah 11, a Messianic prophecy, points out that the Messiah will be full of the Holy Spirit, meaning “the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord” (v. 2). In fact, “he will delight in the fear of the Lord” (v. 3). Additional qualities include wisdom, understanding, power (v. 2), penetrating insight (v. 3), righteousness, justice—especially for the poor and needy, but judgment on the wicked (v. 4)—and faithfulness (v. 5).


If this sounds like God, you’ve correctly understood that the Messiah is also God the Son, the second Person of the Trinity. Part of the Messiah’s purpose and God’s plan of redemption is to inspire fear of the Lord and to bring about worship in the fear of the Lord. Typically, in Scripture, when people see a vision of God they fall flat on their faces (see days 24 and 28). This makes the Incarnation of the Messiah even more incredible! The eternal God the Son, the Word made flesh, walked around Israel like any other man. His disciples were (mostly) not overwhelmed but interacted with Him as they would with any other man.


Go Deeper


Isaiah 11:6–9 describes what will happen when the fear of the Lord fills the earth. What will that day be like and why?


Pray with Us:


Father, teach us what it means to “delight in the fear of the LORD” (Isa. 11:3) and show us the way of understanding, wisdom, insight, justice—the way of Israel’s Messiah, Jesus Christ. We eagerly await His Coming. Keep us ready!

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