Whom Do You Fear?
Hebrews 2:14-15 reminds us that natural men and women live all their lives in fear and bondage, many to religious superstition, dreading to face a holy God in their sinful condition.
In contrast, we Christians who have found forgiveness and cleansing for sin through faith in the cleansing blood of Christ, have a healthy reverential fear of God that leads to a life of joy and freedom.
In the passage before us in this study, Proverbs 14:26-27 we learn more about that fear of God. Because we have peace with God through the shed blood of Christ, as taught in Romans 5 and Colossians 1, we need no longer live our lives in fear of circumstances and of the future and of God’s judgment on us because of our sins.
Throughout the Bible the fear of man and the fear of the future is a negative emotion or cloud under which we as Christians have no reason to live; whereas, the reverential fear of God is a positive experience to be chosen and sought after.
The greater our reverential fear of God, the less we will fear man or any circumstance that can come into our lives. Proverbs 1:7, 29-39.
We need not fear old age for God goes with us every step of the way. Read these wonderful, comforting promises concerning our future. Psalm 31:15, Psalm 37:23-29, Isaiah 46:4, Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:31-34.
We need not fear what man nor oppresive government can do to us. Hebrews 13:6
We need not fear death. David referred to it as a mere shadow. Psalm 23:4
THE SINFUL FEAR OF MAN AND CIRCUMSTANCES
The lost, described in Revelation 21:8 as fearful. unbelieving, abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters and liars, will all have their part in The Lake of Fire. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden by disobeying God and eating forbidden fruit, they were immediately fearful and attempted to hide themselves from God. God found them, confronted them with their sin and then graciously provided them a covering of imputed righteousness through the shedding of the blood of animals and covering their nakedness with the skins of the animals. Animal sacrifices continued throughout the Old Testament until God, in the fullness of time provided a once for all final sacrifice for sin through the shedding of the blood of His own Son, Jesus, on Calvary’s cross. Through faith in that blood you can be forgiven and saved now and forever.
God promised Israel victory over their enemies and that the surrounding nations would fear them if they trusted in Him. Deuteronomy 2:25. Joshua 2:9-12
But if Israel was disobedient to God, He would causes Israel to live in fear of the nations of the world. Deuteronomy 28:47-50, 63-67.
Though fear is a characteristic of the lost, it should not be the consistent characteristic of Christians. Fear will paralyze us from doing what we ought to do.
Fear torments us. I John 4:18
Fear brings us into bondage, primarily religious bondage; as we vainly attempt to do things to appease God’s wrath. Romans 8:15, Hebrews 2:14-15
Fear snares us as a trap. Proverbs 29:25
The fear of man and circumstances evidences our lack of faith in God
Repeatedly in Scripture we are commanded to fear not. Genesis 15:1, Exodus 14:13, Deuteronomy 20:3, 31:8 and Joshua 1:9 as well as many others.
Tormenting fear is the end result at death for refusing to fear and reverence God by rejecting Christ as Saviour and Lord. Proverbs 1:24-32, Luke 21:25-27, Revelation 21:8, 6:12-17.
THE FEAR OF GOD
The invitation to salvation is accompanied with warnings to depart from sin. Proverbs 1:20-33. God gives that power to those who trust the saving and cleansing shed blood of Christ.
Until a sinner is aware of his lost condition and trembles before a holy and angry God, he cannot be saved. His choice to trust Christ is accompanied by his desire to depart from sin. Proverbs 3:7
Salvation is a prerequisite to worship. Until one has trembled in fear over his lost condition as a sinner through the reading or hearing of God’s Word, he cannot be saved nor can he rightly worship God. Psalm 5:1-7 Proverbs 3:7, Isaiah 66:1-2. What he thinks is worship is merely an empty emotional experience.
The reverential fear of God is the choice one makes when he puts His trust in Christ as Saviour and Lord. Proverbs 1:29 This choice leads to ceasing to live in willful sin. Proverbs 3:7
Our lives, our worship and our service are only acceptable to God as they spring from hearts of reverence and godly fear because of who He is. Philippians 2:9-13
The fear of man cannot coexist in the heart of one who fears God. Psalm 31:9-24
The one who refuses to fear God will one day be rejected and tormented by his rejection of the God to whom he refused to bow. Proverbs 1:20-33
THE BLESSINGS OF FEARING GOD
It causes us to hate sin and flee from it. Proverbs 6:16, 8:13
It sets us free from the bondage and torment of sin. Psalm 27:1-6
It puts us in position to receive wisdom from God. Proverbs 1:7
It gives us confidence and courage to face whatever the devil throws at us. Proverbs 14:26 Read in the book of Daniel the courage and the thrilling deliverance of Daniel and his three Hebrew friends, Shadrach, Meshac and Abednego. It has given martyrs down through the ages courage to be thrown to the lions, be burned at the stake and face great tribulation. Read a summary of all this in Hebrews 11.
How sad that the lost have no fear of God and therefore, no fear of sin. Read Romans 3:10-18
The fear of God is related to the love of God. Only those who have the proper fear of God can know and experience the love of God. Learn from I John 4:18 how the perfect love of God casts out tormenting fear.
We, God’s children through faith in Christ, have a place of refuge from all that brings fear and torment. God Himself is our refuge from that. Psalm 46:1-11 and Psalm 56.
God fights for us. We need to stand still and watch Him work on our behalf. Exodus 14:8-14. Read the thrilling story of God’s deliverance of King Jehoshaphat in I Chronicles 20:1-22 Repeatedly through the 57 years of my ministry I’ve watched God fight for me as I’ve fought spiritual battles for Him. I’ve not had to lift a finger to defend myself.
He stills our fears enabling us to get a good night’s rest, even in times of trouble. Psalm 4:8, Proverbs 3:19-26
Read and rejoice in these wonderful promises. Isaiah 41:10-16, 43:1-3 44:2-4, Luke 12:32, II Tim. 1:7-9, Psalm 27, 91, John 14 and Romans 8:31-39. The Bible is filled with such promises to the believer. These are but a wonderful sampling. Read and be blessed.
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