Tuesday March 31, 2020
The believer is to fear the Lord, as in respect, reverence, awe, and cautious walking (living).
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
The temptation in the Garden of Eden was concerning the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They were told by the serpent that they would be like God, which is far from a fear of God. To try and wrest divine knowledge from God, or more specifically, in defiance of God, is to try to assert spiritual autonomy. Humans are not autonomous. We neither create or make anything. We are dependent creatures.
Reading on in the Book of Proverbs and Psalms we would find that fear of the Lord leads to obedience to the Lord and in the process the people who do so become like the Lord.
This message was clear from Samuel to the people.
When Israel saw that the Ammonites had risen up against them, they demanded that Samuel appoint a king over them. They feared Ammon but not the Lord. God tells Samuel to do as they wish, but to also teach them a lesson.
Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen [Saul], whom you have asked for, and behold, the Lord has set a king over you.
Actually, Israel chose “a king” and God chose Saul for them before they asked, 1SA 9:15-17.
If you will fear the Lord and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the Lord, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God. 15 And if you will not listen to the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the command of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you, as it was against your fathers. 16 Even now, take your stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not the wheat harvest today? I will call to the Lord, that He may send thunder and rain. Then you will know and see that your wickedness is great which you have done in the sight of the Lord by asking for yourselves a king." 18 So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
The fear of God should not only happen when we are suddenly faced with natural disaster, but perhaps such an experience would teach us the proper fear of God that we are to always have.
Then all the people said to Samuel, "Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil by asking for ourselves a king." 20 And Samuel said to the people, "Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 And you must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile. 22 For the Lord will not abandon His people on account of His great name, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. 24 Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, both you and your king shall be swept away."
We might wonder that God does not have a constant terrible thunderstorm going all the time. If it gets the people to fear Him, then why not? I wondered the same about our current crisis. If the eyes of people’s hearts might open to the Lord in a crisis, then why aren’t we always in a crisis?