Fear of the LORD
Fear of the LORD.
♦ Do you know the think that I think is most lacking, most needed, in my Christian life? – the fear of the LORD! [OHP]
♦ My picture of God is way too small. He is so far beyond, higher and greater than I conceive that to make Him more comprehensible to me, I make Him smaller, bring Him down to my size. To a dimension I can get my head around. He is not much of a God if I can get my head around Him!
♦ I, and maybe you too, need to have our image of God enlarged – see Him as He really is! Because He is:
o Creator! - nothing exists apart from Him, designed and made everything! You’re dependent upon Him
o Powerful! – All power comes from Him, greatest human power is nuclear bomb – 1000’s all the time in the tiny star of the sun, holding the universe in place, calls stars by name
o Knowledge! – bird fall, past, future, intentions and thoughts, motives – you cannot hide or fool Him
o Control! – absolute control, hair white or black, every event, nothing happens by chance or takes Him by surprise.
o Authority – He is boss, He rules, is the One who says what goes, none above Him.
o Sovereignty! – He can do what He likes, when He likes, how He likes, doesn’t have to ask your opinion, accountable to no one.
o Majesty and splendour! – dwells in unapproachable light, majestic angelic beings cover their faces
o Righteousness! – absolute, unyielding, tolerates no evil, it is consumed in His presence
o Judge – justice! – He is just but that means He judges, judgement is coming! We are each accountable to Him for what we have done.
o Holy! – utterly other, separate, above and beyond. Ways and thoughts higher – beyond comprehension – AWESOME! TO BE FEARED!s just but that means He judges, judgement is coming!ed in His presenceim by surprise
♦ The thing is that we can have all our doctrines correct, give the right answers to what God is like, be Oh so religious and pious but we don’t really know God – have never met up with Him! Christians are preoccupied with having the right answer – knowing instead of living. There was once some men just like this. There was a man by the name of Job…..
♦ Many of you will know the outline of the story but we tend just to read only the first two chapters and the last chapter. Job was a wealthy man, a farmer, sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, crops. But he was also a man who worshiped God, was faithful to Him. He feared God and was blameless. God was proud of him, showed him off before satan. Satan said he only feared God because God blessed him, if God took away all he had he would curse him. So God let satan take everything he had. Job did not curse God, he said, “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away, blessed be the name of the LORD.” [OHP] (1)
♦ Again satan appeared before God and God said, “Look at Job, you incited me to ruin him, yet still he is blameless, upright, fearing Me.” Satan said only because you haven’t touched his life and so God let satan afflict Job with terrible painful boils. He was miserable, in great distress. Even his wife told him to curse God (2), then God would destroy him and at least he’d be out of his misery. Job was very low (3).
♦ Then he had some friends visit him with all sorts of pious advice (4). They knew all about God. Knew all the answers. Their doctrine was faultless – just like us! I can give the right answers, quote the Scriptures. I know the answers but do I know God?! Basically their argument was that Job was in his terrible situation because he had sinned and that his distress was punishment, judgement from God.
♦ Job argued with his friends, maintained his innocence. He wrestled with God, he wanted to present his case, wanted to know why God had treated him like He did (5). He wanted the answers! I don’t know if you have ever questioned God… “Why? ….” You can wrestle with God for answers, argue theology with the experts till the cows come home! You get nowhere! The questions, the agony still remains, you remain in the pit of misery.
♦ That is where Job was …. Until he met GOD! God Himself revealed Himself to Job – chapter 38 – for 36 chapters the discussion and arguments have raged on, round and round in circles, and they have got nowhere. They are still in the same positions as when they started. Then the LORD spoke to Job out of a great whirlwind – He demonstrated His power and overwhelmed Job with a series of unanswerable questions: Job 38:1-18 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? “Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me! “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone? “Or who enclosed the sea ….. I placed boundaries on it and I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; and here shall your proud waves stop’? “Have you ever in your life commanded the morning, and caused the dawn to know its place? Have you entered into the springs of the sea Or walked in the recesses of the deep? “Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? “Have you understood the expanse of the earth? Tell Me, if you know all this! The LORD goes on through a catalogue of creatures that He has made and looks after – did Job make them, design them, even know their habits? [OHP]. [Romans 1:19-20 That which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.]. The evidence of God is all around us if we only had eyes to see – God is continually at work in the things He has made – through that we can see what He is like.
♦ The LORD overwhelmed Job with a revelation of His power, knowledge, control and wisdom! [Job 40:1-7 Then the Lord said to Job, “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.” Then Job answered the Lord and said, “Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth. “Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; Even twice, and I will add nothing more.” Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm and said, “Now gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you instruct Me.] Then comes a further series of questions this time concerning a couple of fearsome creatures whose description is remarkably like dinosaurs – one land based, the other marine. Creatures that instil terror that man had no defence against. These are just creatures, things the Creator had made. Man was nothing before the objects God had made, let alone facing the One who made them and is greater than all! [Job 41:10 “No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him; Who then is he that can stand before Me?]
♦ Job had had enough after the first speech, after this second one he is totally overwhelmed [OHP] – this is his response [Job 42:1-6 Then Job answered the Lord and said, “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ “Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’ “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”].
♦ We all need a revelation of God. Not just know the correct answers about Him but know Him. And you only get to know a person by meeting them face to face.
♦ If we meet up with God then our whole concept of Him will be blown apart. He is greater than we can ever conceive!
♦ If you meet God face to face then you will fear Him – repent in dust and ashes. One who fears the LORD will not dare to continue his own sinful way, he will turn from it.
♦ [Psalm 86:8-13 There is no one like You among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like Yours. All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and they shall glorify Your name. For You are great and do wondrous deeds; You alone are God. Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorify Your name forever. For Your loving-kindness toward me is great, and You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.]