Friday, February 26, 2016

Fear God, 7

~ Pharaoh Refused To Fear 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.”  

Comment  ~  In this post we pick up the historical account where we left off in our last post in this series.
This Week’s Passage  ~  “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt — on man, on beast, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.’  And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven; and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground.  And the Lord rained hail on the land of Egypt.  So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, so very heavy that there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.  And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field.  Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.

“And Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, ‘I have sinned this time.  The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked.  Entreat the Lord, that there may be no more mighty thundering and hail, for it is enough.  I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.’

“So Moses said to him, ‘As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the Lord; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s.  But as for you and your servants, I know that you will not yet fear the Lord God.’

“Now the flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the head and the flax was in bud.  But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are late crops.

“So Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh and spread out his hands to the Lord; then the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain was not poured on the earth.  And when Pharaoh saw that the rain, the hail, and the thunder had ceased, he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart, he and his servants.  So the heart of Pharaoh was hard; neither would he let the children of Israel go, as the Lord had spoken by Moses” (Exodus 9:22-35).   

Comment  ~  This is a very instructive historical account.  Pharaoh acknowledges that he is a sinner:  “I have sinned this time.  The Lord is righteous, and my people and I are wicked.”  Yet, Pharaoh was stubborn and refused to yield his will and his actions to the Lord: “he sinned yet more; and he hardened his heart.”  This is the great spiritual war that is continuing today.  Some acknowledge their sin, repent, and change the direction of their lives, while others go their way hardened in their thoughts toward the God they know exists.  Which of these two situations are you in? 

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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