Monday, April 30, 2012

Living in Fear

Have you ever done something and felt guilty about it?  Especially when you were little.  Every time someone would yell for you or say your name you thought for sure - this is it, they caught me.  And you would be so afraid to go and see what they wanted.  A guilty conscience could eat you alive.  I'm fairly sure I ended up telling on myself multiple times when I was young - just so I wouldn't have to live in fear.

Leviticus 26:36 - As for those of you who may be left, I will also bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies.  And the sound of a driven leaf will chase them, and even when no one is pursuing they will flee as though from the sword and they will fall.

To give some background here - God is threatening terrible judgments to those who may be disobedient.  But, just to clarify, "if under these judgments they confess their sin and return to God, He will remember them in mercy" (Clarke) (Leviticus 26:40-42).  

This weakness brought into their hearts is simply that - weakness.  Some rightfully translate the idea as fear (Strong's, Lexicon) but either way, it can be interpreted as a guilty conscience.  They would feel so guilty that even the sound of a leaf in the wind would send them running in fear, even when no one is pursuing them they would run for their lives.  You see, "those that cast off the fear of God expose themselves to the fear of everything else" (Henry).  We must fear God and nothing else.  Fear God and follow His commands.  

But what does that mean?  What does that look like?  The fear of God for believers, simply put, is reverence and awe.  If we view God with reverence and awe we will obey His commands and surrender to His will out of love.  After searching for awhile, I believe that this site gives a great description of what the fear of God is and what it should look like.

That is the challenge for today - take a good look at your walk with the Lord and jot down at least 2 ways that you are not fearing God.  By the end of the week, take the steps you need to change at least 1 of those areas.  This way you won't have a guilty conscience breathing down the back of your neck!

For more on guilt check out my previous blog here.

Proverbs 1:7 - The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.

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