Verse 9 of Psalm 19 reels me in, as it were, silently gesturing for attention. I pause before words I’ve known for always, wait. I roll the list over.
“Law, Testimony, Statutes, Commandment, Fear, Judgments; Law, Testimony, Statutes…”
And I realize fear stands alone.
The sole emotion.
Fitting. For a God relation to Whom is not governed or driven by emotion, but is certainly incomplete without it.
But emotion, you know, is volatile, and classically resists regulations. Which means a proper emotional response to God must needs have its fair share of counterfeits.
Yet, this response is called “clean,” “the beginning of wisdom,” “fountain of life,” “instruction of wisdom,” one which “tendeth to life”…
It’s Proverbs 8 that arrests my attention though, with its use of the same word for “fear.”
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” (Pro 8:13)
Another strong emotion.
Fitting again, I suppose, to define one strong emotion with another.
But both love and hate come easy. (Emotions after all.) Too easy to stand alone as a measuring mark for wisdom… Even if you only count the love for what is beautiful, and hatred for what is not.
Every sane person loves the pure, and despises pedophilia.
Nope. Not true.
Actually, most sane people despise pedophiles.
The pure man (the “Fearing” man) loves right, hates sin.
The rest lust after the beauty that results from right,
and hate sinners.
Herein lies the regulation.
It’s not love or hate. It’s who or what.