Friday, January 22, 2016

Fear God, 3

~ Jacob Understood the Awesomeness of God ~

God does not want His children living in fear.  “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:2-3).  However, God does want His children to have a proper respect and reverence for Him.  We are told in many places in Scripture to “fear God.”  

This Week’s Passage  ~  Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran.  So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set.  And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep.  Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: ‘I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.  Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.  Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.’

Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.’  And he was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place!  This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!’ 

Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it.  And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously.  Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord  shall be my God.  And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You” (Genesis 28:10-22).

Comment  ~  As Jacob comprehended the awesome nature of God it changed him which in turn changed his actions and his lifestyle. 

Fearing God Results in Salvation  ~  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).  A wise person fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident” (Proverbs 14:16).  This does not mean the Christian is to live a fearful life—but a life which reverences God and seeks to do His will. 

Fearing God Results in Fearlessness  ~  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1).  The answer is: only God.  With the gift of salvation comes responsibility.

Fearing God Results in Witnessing  ~  “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul” (Psalm 66:16). 

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

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