Our Associate Pastor did a nice sermon today entitled The Fear of the Lord. He noted that most often we, as children of the New Testament Grace think of "fear" in terms of awe and reverence. However, we should recognize terror too. Hell is fearful and therefore judgment is fearful. Our God has that power. Throughout the Bible He shows us that our fear should lead us to obey and follow Him. Our fear should change us and change our decisions so that we do the right things.
Pastor D gave the example set out in Exodus 9 verses 18-22. Moses was warning Pharaoh and his court of the seventh plague of hailstones. There were those in the court who, having seen the prior plagues, believed and sent to have their servants and flocks protected from the storm. Others, like Pharaoh, hardened their hearts. Those who will not hear and do not follow are ultimately given over to a depraved mind and hardened heart.
There are blessings for those who fear God. In Exodus chapter 1 verse 15, the king ordered the midwives to kill the male Hebrew babies. But the midwives feared God and would not kill the babies and God blessed them. Verses 17-21.
Pastor D noted that our priorities say a lot about our attitude towards God. He even noted that God is like the "Alpha dog" of the wolf pack to whom the other dogs submit.
I don't often think in terms of obeying in fear but obeying through love. Yet, as a child fears the parent who has to discipline out of love, there is some of that respectful fear too. I do recognize God as Creator, destroyer, Judge and executioner. I am in awe and I respond.
Lord let me be in AWE of you and worship at the knowledge of your Majesty.
Proverbs 9:10-12 (NIV)
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For through wisdom your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
My prayer today - Lord help me bring, and keep, every area of my life under Your direction.