Speaking the Truth in Love
Last time we talked about the Fear of God. Tonight we would like to discuss people of the Bible who had a "Misplaced Fear". These are people who lived real lives, but very similar to people today, had their priorities and their fears in the wrong place.
Aaron (Exodus 32:1-6, 15-24) – Aaron made a golden idol for the people to make offerings to and then the people ate, drank, and rose up to play. When Moses confronts Aaron, Aaron implies the reason he gave in and did not restrain the people is because the people “are set on evil” (32:22). Aaron did not fear and honor God the way that the High Priest who had been anointed to be first of a great priesthood. His fear was not in the right place.
King Saul (1 Samuel 13:5-14) – Saul was told to go to Gilgal to offer sacrifices and wait seven days for Samuel (1 Samuel 10:6-8). But Saul and the people were afraid of the Philistines rather than fearing and honoring God’s commands. Saul continues to have misplaced fear with regard to David. He feared him rather than fearing and humbling himself to God’s Will. Notice 1 Samuel 18:7-16.
Jonah (1-4) – Jonah feared that the people of Ninevah would repent and then God would show mercy. Jonah should have humbled himself to God and fear him above his prejudice. Sometimes misplaced fear leads to misplaced anger. Jonah should have rejoiced that the people of Ninevah had repented of their wickedness and had turned to God. But Jonah let his anger take the place of what should have been a fear and respect for God’s will.
The parents of the healed blind man (John 9:18-23) – These parents did not fear God by telling the truth or honoring the one who healed their son, but rather they feared those who might cause them harm socially. What a tragedy that these parents did not rejoice and thank God when their son was healed.
The rulers in the first century (Luke 7:29-30, John 11:45-48) – They feared the loss of their social position in the Jewish society rather than fear the one who came to bring salvation for their people. In another sense they worried about losing their Jewish priesthood while not being concerned about becoming a true priest of Jesus (1 Peter 2:4-10, Revelation 1:4-6). Though they claimed to fear God, they did not truly fear the One who had the power to cast them into Hell (Luke 12:4-5).
What we see in these examples and many others in the NT is a fear that is focused on the wrong thing and with the wrong priorities. Sometimes we fear getting caught, we fear peer pressure, we fear people taking over our responsibilities, we fear evil people will be rewarded, or we fear not getting ahead in our social lives. What all these people put out of their minds was that true fear is to fear the God of the universe, as He has the power to condemn for eternity. The writer of Ecclesiastes sums it up at the end of Chapter 12 verses 13-14. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgement, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.”
Who do you fear? Do you fear man? Do you fear your brethren? Do you fear your classmates or co-workers? Let us put our fear in the proper place! We need to fear God and keep His commandments, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in while living on this earth. As in our examples, when our fears are misplaced, it gets us far away from where God expects us to be.
If you are not a Christian, you have not started your journey of fearing God and keeping His commandments. Judgement Day is something to fear. Fear can be a great motivator. God has provided the greatest encouragement one could ask for. He has said that if we do not obey Him, we will be lost for eternity. Doesn’t that motivate you? It does me. Only Christians will be in good shape on Judgement Day. Why not become one today? We want to encourage you to repent and be baptized before your fate on the Day of Judgement is sealed. We also hope to see you next time on "Speaking The Truth In Love"!