So this happened to me as I was reading the familiar passage from Exodus, chapter 20. This is the place where God gives the Israelites the Ten Commandments. Right after the big 10, the Bible says this...
Beginning at verse 18: When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die."
Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning."
The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.
Wow! Did that line jump out at you like it did at me?
"Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning."
I don't think that we fear God any more. Not that God wants us to be afraid of Him. He wants for us to revere Him; to understand that He is omnipotent; to know that He is greater than anything in the world. And at the same time, to know that He loves us and wants to be loved by us.
We have become pretty self sufficient today. We don't need God for much. (sarcasm intended) I mean the world has been set in motion by the Creator and will run its course. God doesn't need to intervene and we just don't need to think about God on a daily basis. Right?Maybe it's that attitude that finds the world in its current state of moral decay--no fear of God. Not only do we not fear God, we really don't count on God for much. We are satisfied to rely on government, jobs, the market, financial institutions (all of the things that are failing today) to give us a false sense of security and a false sense of peace. When these things fail, then we worry and wonder about who or what we can trust. We fear what may become of our personal finances, our jobs, our homes, etc. But we have no fear of God.
Moses told the people that it is the fear of God that keeps us from sinning. The world certainly has given us its share of fearful things--God isn't one of them. In Matthew 10:28, Jesus says, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." I'm not sure why we don't fear God any more. At least it would appear that we have little fear of God.
So I was wondering...when you're about to do something that you know you shouldn't do, and then you don't do it, what is it that keeps you from doing it? Fear of getting caught? Fear of God? Integrity? (you just want to do the right thing) How about love of God? You know, really wanting to be obedient.
I used to think that if at the end of time it turned out that the atheists were right and there was no God, what would be the worst case scenario for all of the Christians? That they lived a life striving for a higher purpose? That they tried that "do unto others" thing? That they taught others a way of life that was based on love? Even if the end of life is just the end of life...wouldn't it have been a life worth living?
On the other hand, what if...well I think you know the what if of the other hand.
So, do you revere God?