Fearing God

The fear of the Lord may best be described in the lives of two shepherd boys. Both knew only nomadic life. Looking for pasture. Feeding the sheep. Leading the flock, and protecting the weak.

It was a quiet and demanding sort of life. Cold and damp nights on the ground; long and hot days in the sun. Then came the big change. For one it was the pit, and then the test. For the other it was the palace and then the test. Both were tested on the fear of the Lord. One passed with flying colors. The other crashed and burned. The first met Mrs. Potiphar and said no. The second met Mrs. Uriah the Hittite and said yes.

What was the difference between Joseph and David? Joseph feared the Lord anywhere, anytime and in anything. Startled by the rapid culture shock of being sped (actually walking about 30 days from Dothan to Egypt) to the most advanced civilization of the day, he is confronted with new rules, new dress, new language, and new responsibilities. But it was the old habits he took with him. They proved to be good ones. He cultivated the awareness of God's presence. He saw God looking at him. He had been aware of that in Palestine. He was equally aware in Egypt.

A crisis does not make a man or woman - it only reveals what they have all the time been becoming. Joseph was becoming a young man who feared God. What did that mean? Well Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (KJV) HIS CLEAN FEAR ENDURES (v. 9a) = The Word of God is THE DIVINE CONDITION: The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever. This is fearing God, lovingly acknowledging by my actions God sees me. The fear of the Lord kept Joseph pure even in the days of his youth when it can be so hard. God had big plans for him. He might have forfeited it all for a moment of fun. But the fear of the Lord kept him.

What is this fear of the Lord about for us this morning? In the New Testament it is commanded 1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. (NKJV)

When Should a Person Fear God?

  • When they come to realize his omnipresence as Joseph did!
    • Genesis 39:8-9 But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Look, my master does not know what is with me in the house, and he has committed all that he has to my hand. 9 "There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (NKJV)
  • When they come to realize his omnipotence as Elijah did!
    • 1 Kings 19:11-14 Then He said, "Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 14 And he said, "I have been very zealous for the LORD God of hosts; because the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life." (NKJV)
  • When they come to realize his omniscience as Elisha's servant did!
    • 2 Kings 6:9-17 And the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, "Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are coming down there." 10 Then the king of Israel sent someone to the place of which the man of God had told him. Thus he warned him, and he was watchful there, not just once or twice. 11 Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was greatly troubled by this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you not show me which of us is for the king of Israel?" 12 And one of his servants said, "None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom." So he said, "Go and see where he is, that I may send and get him." And it was told him, saying, "Surely he is in Dothan." 14 Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" 16 So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17 And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (NKJV)
  • When they come to realize his holiness as Isaiah did!
    • Isaiah 6:1-5 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!" 4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. 5 So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts." (NKJV)
  • When they come to realize his sovereignty as Nebuchadnezzar did!
    • Daniel 4:32-37 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. They shall make you eat grass like oxen; and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses." 33 That very hour the word was fulfilled concerning Nebuchadnezzar; he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws. And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand Or say to Him, "What have You done?" At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down. (NKJV)

 

 

 

 

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