Friday, March 21, 2008

Fear and Trembling

The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We are often admonished to “fear God,” and to work out our salvation with “fear and trembling”. How do we obtain the commanded virtue of the fear of God?

One great key is to look at Israel. They lost sight of Moses, so they created their own image of god (the golden calf), took off their clothes and had an orgy (Exodus 32). Suddenly Moses appeared in wrath, threw the Ten Commandments at their feet, and cried, “Who is on the Lord’s side?” The people decided if they wanted to serve sin or God. Those who refused to stand with Moses came under the sword. That no doubt produced the fear of the Lord.

We live in an age that has lost sight of Moses. The moral Law has been removed from the market place, from schools, and even from many churches. The result has been that America has made her own image of god, stripped off her clothes and had an orgy. Our commission is simply to cry to the world “Who is on the Lord’s side?” We are to proclaim the gospel of peace. Those who refuse to make peace with God through the blood of the cross, will be cut down by the wrath of the Law. That should put the fear of God into any of us.

But that’s not the only catalyst. There is something else that can help us. The book of Peter says to “pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.” Why should we do that? The following verses tell us: 1 Peter 1:18-25 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

If anything should produce the fear of God in our hearts, it is the cost that God went to so that we could be forgiven. If I deliberately violated civil law and it cost my father every penny he owned to pay my fine, what sort of moron would I be to go back to crime? Rather, if I saw his incredible sacrifice, I should be humbled and filled with gratitude at such an expression of his love.

God didn’t pay our fine with mere silver or gold. He paid it with the precious blood of Jesus of Nazareth. Golgotha was not only a display of love, but it was a display of how much God cares about justice. The cross of Calvary was an expression of His wrath against sin, and if and I can understand that, I will fear the Lord.

An article from the Comfort Food blog

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Blogger Jerry Bouey said...

Great post and a much needed reminder. May I never take Christ's sacrifice for granted and lose that fear and reverence toward Him.

7:11 PM  

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