Fear of the Lord

62 posts

When the fear of God departs

It is natural for men to fear God and stand in awe of him. When Nineveh was confronted with their sin by Jonah, repentance swept through the great city. The vast power and splendor of God is declared daily by the wonder of creation. The psalmist speaks of how the power and wrath of God should naturally be feared by all of nations of earth: Surely your wrath against men brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained. Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared. He breaks the spirit of rulers; he is feared by the kings of the earth. Psalm […]

All in or all out

The warrior was huge, ruthless, arrogant. His presence produced fear and anxiety. No one dared to challenge his strength and skill. Combat with him meant certain death. Goliath was a force that would not be denied. The mere thought of him meant sleepless nights and restless days. Do you have any Goliaths in your life? You don’t have to be a warrior to encounter a Goliath. Is there a relationship that seems hopeless? Do you have fears about your kids? Are you a slave to lust? Does your anger seem unconquerable? You know what I am talking about. In your spiritual battles does it seem like that you are fighting with Goliath himself, where winning is not even a consideration? […]

The Dark Shadows

The long, dark shadows of your fears for tomorrow are cast before you. They are like the shadows of the mountains against a setting sun. What is hiding in those shadows? How will you find the help and courage you need to go on and find safety? The hills around you may hide struggles and terrors of all kinds. Where will you find the help you need to keep going? Then your heart remembers that your God made the hills. His sun casts the long, dark shadows before you. His Son, your savior, has taken this path before you. He has prayed for you. He watches over you. Unlike you, he never sleeps. By his blood he has secured your […]

The wide road

Public opinion polls have the goal of finding out what is the most popular viewpoint. Politicians in particular are motivated by these polls; safety in numbers. Polls portend of danger ahead or indicate where most think safety lies. The road with the most people on it is the one leading to security or to at least to an election victory. But Jesus has some warnings about public opinion. John’s gospel tells how Jesus had won the popularity of many at the beginning of his public ministry. “But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all about men. He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he what was in a man.” John 2:24-25 In Proverbs Solomon […]

Mary, an ordinary girl

Mary was a young woman, most likely a teenager. There was nothing special about her. The first time we see her is in the first chapter of Luke when she is greeted by the angel Gabriel. To say that she was startled and taken aback would be an understatement! But Gabriel comforted her and then with a few words turned her life upside down. She was going to become a mother. She was told her child would grow up to take the throne of King David and that his kingdom would have no end. So far, so good until she learns who the baby’s father would be. This was not an ordinary conversation. Gabriel was no ordinary visitor. Her baby […]

Obedience is better than deliverance!

Three young Hebrew men served faithfully and well in the government of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar. But their faith and success was bothersome to those in the elite ruling class. So when the King made a 90 foot tall image of gold and held a dedication service that all of the government officials were to attend, these three Jews were under scrutiny. The royal herald shouted that at the sound of music everyone was to fall down and worship the image of gold. Failure to do so would be punished by a fiery death. These three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, did not follow the politically correct path of safety. They like Daniel had demonstrated excellence in their service and had […]

Who is in Control?

Life is about control. Specifically, who is in control. It starts at birth. Babies naturally want to be fed, dry and know comfort. When one of these conditions is not met, who is in control becomes an issue. Later on there is a toy that is appealing, someone’s attention that is desired, and yes, feelings of hunger still matter. Teenagers want control of their time, of how they are perceived, and the lives of those they may be attracted to. Adults want control of outcomes: things like income, relationships, personal appearance, political elections. And as age moves on the focus shifts to more immediate issues — how much longer will I live. In the end, it comes full circle; once […]

People pleasing – a fatal attraction!

Luke recounts a story in Acts about how the early Christians were caring for each other’s needs. He specifically mentions a Cypriot Levite named Joseph who sold a field and brought the money from the sale to the apostles. Joseph was such a blessing that the apostles called him Barnabas, which means son of encouragement. This was a good thing. There was a married couple who apparently observed Barnabas’ good deed and the appreciation he received for it. So they sold some property that they owned. But something happened to these two when they collected the money from the sale. While we can’t be exactly sure of their thoughts, Luke does tell us about the plan that they conceived, a […]

God’s approval of Job’s Curse

In the third chapter of Job he recalls the total and horrific tragic events that brought overwhelming despair and agony to his life. He curses the day he was born and wishes that the day he was conceived would be erased. The chapter ends with these words: “What I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true. I have no peace, no quietness. I have no rest; only trouble comes.” Job had suffered all that we dread as humans. God took his property, livestock and then, even his children. And on top of that he is inflicted with painful sores all over his body. Only his wife is left and she urges him to curse God […]

Emotions and your heart

Solomon is adamant that the heart be guarded above all else (Proverbs 4:23). In the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit has provided you with a guide book for understanding emotions. Biblically, emotions can be thought of as the first responders of the heart. If the heart is well-guarded emotions can work for you, not against you. If the heart is not guarded then emotions can bring much damage. The book of Job immediately shows the value of emotions. Job feared the Lord and shunned evil. His strong emotional fear of God protected him from evil. This is the same emotional response that protected Joseph when he fled from the arms of Potiphar’s wife. This the type […]