Day 100: Praising in the Fear of God
12 Neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.
What does fear mean? Webster says it's "A painful emotion or passion excited by an expectation of evil or the apprehension of impending danger." He went on, "Fear is the passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security, on the approach of evil."
It's incredible what people will do when they are fearful and afraid. What causes fear? I googled, "How many phobias are there?" And when Google showed me there were 19,100,000 results of my inquiry, I realized how disinterested I genuinely am with phobias. A phobia is an irrational fear of something unlikely to cause harm. According to some websites, anyhow...
God says, "neither fear ye their fear..." What is their cause of fear? Fear of financial failure? Of sickness or death? Fear is a powerful weapon that causes many people to make rash and irrational decisions. What causes that fear? When you step out of the fear of the Lord, you step into the fear of evil.
Listen to Paul's indictment of the heathen,
18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Because they do not fear God, they're afraid of everything else. Our world is going mad right now. They're so scared this pandemic will reach them and kill them. A janitor at our workplace told me that his wife was panicking over the whole virus pandemic. She was so worried about dying. He looked at her and said, "Honey, you've been worrying yourself to death over dying if you get this virus, but there you go still puffing on that cigarette after the doctor done told you it was going to kill you if you don't quit!"
Fear should never become an idol. Above all, our concern must be of God. Our wisdom would be to "Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread."
To sanctify means to set apart by itself. It holds the idea of separating what is most precious from what is rubbish. God is what is most valuable. Anything else falls under that. If God is your fear, what else is there to fear?
Interestingly, Isaiah says, "Let him be your dread." He is saying, if fearing God isn't enough, dread Him. Dread is a more powerful word than fear. To dread means to tremble with fear.
To fear God means we are consciously aware of His presence and that He is witness to our doings. The proper fear of God says we are more concerned about offending Him than anything else. The world does not concern itself with the fear of God. They fear a virus. But don't fear to stand before God on judgment day. Anyone who decided to use this virus to manipulate or to lie, to cause harm, or to do evil will not be allowed to use their fear as an excuse.
Fear, if not subordinate to the fear of God, is sin and will be punishable by hellfire.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Fearing God allows us to praise Him for His power. It is when we fear Him that we find ourselves enveloped in His might.
9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
He promises that when we fear God, above all, we will not go without His goodness. No matter what occurs, the saint who fears God knows that God will always do good.
Think about it, saint; if Satan brings the persecutor to your very door and they put a gun to your head and kill you for your faith, you can laugh. Laugh at the fact that the devil has ushered you into the highest crown a person can achieve in heaven...a martyr's crown! Praise His name!
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
We have no one and nothing to fear except our Lord. And as Charles Spurgeon said, "God has punished Christ instead of me, and therefore he cannot also punish me." What a true blessing! Christ has taken our punishment. What have we to fear, except offending His presence and breaking His heart by our sin?