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Fear is one of the strongest human emotions, and it is one that often baffles Christians.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” —Proverbs 1:7
Fear is one of the strongest human emotions—and one that often baffles Christians. In the Bible the picture can seem equally confusing: Is fear a good thing or a bad thing? And what does it mean to “fear the Lord”?
In Rejoice and Tremble, Michael Reeves clears the clouds of confusion and shows that the fear of the Lord is not a negative thing at all, but an intensely delighted wondering at God, our Creator and Redeemer.
“Modern people often view the fear of God with disdainful suspicion, but Michael Reeves shows us that godly fear is really nothing other than love for God as God. Reeves also helps us to see that the greatest factor in promoting the fear of God is knowing his grace in Christ. As John Bunyan said, ‘There is nothing in heaven or earth that can so awe the heart as the grace of God.’ This wonderful book not only teaches but sings, leading us to ‘rejoice with trembling’ (Ps. 2:11).”
Joel R. Beeke, President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; author, Reformed Preaching; coauthor, Reformed Systematic Theology
“We used to sing a hymn that said, ‘O how I fear Thee, living God! With deepest, tenderest fears.’ No longer. But the hymn’s first lines remind us of what we are missing: ‘My God, how wonderful Thou art, Thy majesty, how bright.’ Only those who find God to be ‘wonderful’ and his majesty ‘bright’ experience the ‘tenderest’ fear. So we have a problem; but thankfully help is at hand in Rejoice and Tremble. Like an elder brother, Michael Reeves guides us into a fresh understanding of the fear of the Lord. On the way, he introduces us to some of his friends—masters in the school of discipleship—who have walked the path before us. Join him on the journey. You will soon discover why ‘the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him’ (Ps. 147:11).”
Sinclair B. Ferguson, Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries
“Michael Reeves has given us something we badly need and likely haven’t realized—a fresh encounter with the thrilling fear of the Lord. This book will bring renewed devotion and delight. Having read it, I can’t wait to read it again!”
Sam Allberry, pastor; author, 7 Myths about Singleness
I’ve read a few books by Michael Reeves and they’ve always struck me as easily readable. However, this one was more of a challenge. It’s been written with church leaders in mind, and so is more technical and deep than some of his other works. I unfortunately was unable to finish it. For those who, like me, desperately want to know more about this topic, but want something a little more simple, “What Does it Mean to Fear the Lord”, may be more helpful.
I was so excited by a lecture that I heard Michael Reeves give on this subject, that I had to get the book when it was published! I do agree with the last review that this is written in an academic style with quite a number of references from throughout history. However, holistically, with all these, this book teaches us about having the right fear for and the right perspective of God and that with this in place we can have a ‘heartfelt quaking at the goodness and greatness and glory of the Redeemer’ (PP131/2).
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