fear Him who
Whom to Fear
The modern American Christian is, in general, a chicken-livered soul.
We are afraid of every minor authority on the planet. How far different we are from our forebears! Athanasius, writing in the early 4th century (a longer time from Christ than we are from George Washington) could point out as common knowledge how casually, how calmly Christians went to their deaths—and those were no easy deaths in hospital, but horrible deaths by torture. Not just some Christians; millions of Christians who died in the reign of Diocletian. He used this "present fact", as he called it, as a proof of the Resurrection of Christ. Who would go to such a death so calmly if there were no resurrection?
Why? Because we no longer believe in the providence of God. We do not have faith that He will provide for us. We're worried that we'll "get in trouble," and that God has no power to get us out.
Permit me to enlighten you as to two things:
· If you are a sincere Christian, you should have been in trouble by now. Persecution by the world is a sign of your faith, not a sign of lack of intelligence.
· God makes it very clear—especially in this passage—that not only can he provide, he will provide. He also makes it clear that he considers the task rather trivial.
Trivial? Indeed. The God who looks after the sparrows, knowing their every heartbeat, can certainly care for you. The question comes down to whether or not he has any reason to do so.
How would he know that you are casting your cares, your very life, upon his care? By the way you acknowledge him, in word and deed. Are you careful to conceal the fact that you are a Christian? Then he won't notice it either.
Isn't the problem one of fear? We are afraid—of what the police might do, what the boss might say, what the neighbors think. But we are not afraid of God—and we should be. Look at it from the extreme point of view: what can the authorities do to you? They can throw you in prison for life or even execute you. And then? Nothing. God can send you to hell itself.
The Royal Navy used to have as its motto the phrase, "Fear God, Dread Naught." Fear Him, and have nothing else to fear. He will care for you; even if you must perish for him.