|THE FEAR OF THE LORD
HIS GLORY REIGNS
Sep 28, 2007
If you desire the praise of man, you will fear man. If you fear man, you
will serve him - for you will serve what you fear.
"To fear man is to stand in alarm, anxiety, awe, dread, suspicion, or cowering before mortal men.
Those entrapped by this type of fear will live on the run, hiding from harm or reproach, constantly
avoiding rejection and confrontation."
- Although Jesus is the Son and the express image of God made flesh, we cannot forget He came as the Son of
man, and mediator, because man could not approach the holiness of God. Though they are one, there is a
differential between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Even Jesus said men could speak
against Him and it would be forgiven, but not against the Holy Spirit. Jesus was letting them know (the early
church) ahead of time that a holy divine order was about to be restored. Before the coming of the Son, the
people had been afraid or scared of God without fearing Him. Now that man was restored to God, divine order
had to be reestablished.
- First Peter 15-19 says, "But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, BE YE HOLY; FOR I AM HOLY. And if ye call on the Father who without respect of
persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye
know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received
by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without
spot:" We are called to have a personal love relationship with our Father, but Peter is quick to add the balance
of the fear of God. Our love for God is limited by a lack of holy fear. Our hearts are to bear the light and
warmth of both flames.
- If your image of God falls short of who He is, then you have but a surface knowledge of the One you love. True
love is founded in the truth of who God really is. Do you think He reveals His heart to those who take Him
lightly? It is in secret that we discover His Holiness and His greatness. But only those who fear Him will find this
secret refuge, "The secret of the LORD is with them that fear Him; and he will shew them his covenant." Psalm
- Paul says to the believers (of the early church), "...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
Philippians 2:12. This phrase is used three times in the New Testament to describe the proper relationship
between a believer and Christ. If we seek to access the knowledge of God, and walk with Him as we walk with
natural corruptible men, we will eventually take His Presence for granted, as some did in the early church.
- The early church experienced an abundance of signs and wonders, but even these will become commonplace
when there is a lack of the fear of God in your hearts as it did among believers in the early church. But the fear
of God would have revealed the holiness of God.
- We must remember God's unchangeable attributes:
1) "God is love" 1 John 4:8
2) "God is a consuming fire" Hebrews 12:29
Because of God's love, we can have confidence when we approach him. Those who have been born again, know God
as Abba Father. But that does not negate His position as Judge of all flesh (Galatians 4:6-7; Hebrews 12:23). God
makes it clear, "...THE LORD SHALL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE." Hebrews 10:30
- We may serve God, but we must do so "...with reverence and godly fear:" Hebrews 12:29
- You can have the holy anointing oil on you, like Nadab and Abihu did. You can operate in signs and wonders,
cast out demons, and heal the sick in His mighty name, yet lack the fear of the Lord. Without it (the fear of the
Lord) your end will be no different from that of Nadab and Abihu, or of Ananias and Sapphira. It is the fear of
the Lord that causes you to stand before the presence of the Lord forever.
- A tangible presence of God's glory rested on Peter. Ananias and Sapphira lied to Peter and, in separate
encounters with Peter, fell over dead in his presence. In essence, Ananias and Sapphira were irreverent in the
presence of the Lord whose glory had been revealed already. Just as with Adam, Nadab, Abihu and the
children of Israel, we see again a pattern of order, glory, and judgment.
- What happened to Ananias and Sapphira shook the church. It brought motives of the heart to the surface for
inspection. Those who saw themselves in the irreverence of Ananias and Sapphira rent their hearts in
repentance. Others counted the cost more seriously before joining themselves with the assembly of believers in
Jerusalem. Some may have walked away in fear of God's judgment. The bottom line is that fear, holy fear
came upon the church. The Bible records, "And of the rest (non-believers), durst no man join himself to them
[the church]: but the people magnified them. And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of
men and women." Acts 5:13-14 It would appear that no one dared to join themselves to Jesus until they had
counted the cost. There was no more "joining" for self-seeking reasons. They came to the Lord because of
who He was, not because of what He could do.
- It is easy to develop, quickly, an attitude of irreverence when we come to the Lord for what He can do for us or
give us. It then becomes a relationship based on blessings and events. When things don't go our way - and
inevitably this will happen - We are disappointed and our respect is gone. When irreverence is judged,
everyone takes stock of their lives and wrong motives are purged by the light of judgment. This is an
atmosphere for the true hearts of repentance filled with the fear of God.
- Faith was evidenced by Abraham's actions. His actions or works verified that his faith was made perfect. "And
the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."
- In our language, the world has been reduced to mental acknowledgement of something's existence. Multitudes
have prayed the sinner's prayer because they were moved emotionally, only to return to their original paths of
disobedience. They continue living for themselves, all the while trusting in an emotional salvation that was void
of the power to change them. Yes, they believe in God - but the Bible states, "You believest that there is one
God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble." James 2:19. What good is it to acknowledge Jesus
Christ when there is no change of heart and therefore no change in actions?
- Paul described those in the church of our day who lack the power to make themselves godly, "But evil men and
seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." 2 Timothy 3:13 His prophetic insight is
confirmed today. To the corrupt leaders and false believers in the church, God declares: "Recite my laws no
longer, and do not pretend that you obey me. For you refuse my discipline and treat my laws like trash. When
you see a thief, you help him, and you spend your time with adulterers. Your mouths are filled with wickedness,
and your tongue are full of lies. You sit around and slander a brother." Psalm 50:16-20 NLT
- God says, "These things has thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one
as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes." Psalm 50:21 God said, "I kept
silent." Judgement was delayed, yet not denied for the Lord assured, "I will rebuke you, and set them in
order..." Remember divine order precedes revealed glory. Once the glory is revealed, disorder is met
with immediate judgment to assure the maintenance of divine order. God promised those whose
judgment is waiting, "Know for sure there will be order, for I will bring it." Notice it is their consciences that
comfort the disobedient in their irreverent behavior. They believe God to be altogether like them. They reduce
the image of the glory of God to the level of corruptible man. God seeks to warn us in order to keep us from His
judgment. His message is therefore one of mercy!
GOD has a Remnant
By the Spirit of God, Paul saw God's manifested glory wane until it would again reach an all time low. The days
preceding the second outpouring would see just such a spiritual climate. Both priest and people would suffer
corruption. Paul prophetically lamented: "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after
their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears. And they shall turn away their ears from
the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3,4
The Glory of the Old Covenant and of the New Covenant
Paul's second epistle to the church body at Corinth is not referenced as frequently as the first. This letter contains a
greater emphasis on divine order, the fear of the Lord, and the subsequent restoration of His glory. This letter was
written to people who were no strangers to the anointing and frequently operated in spiritual gifts. In both his letters to
the Corinthians, Paul referred often to the flight of the children of Israel from Egypt to the revelation of God's glory to
them in the desert. Their experience pertains to us as well, for all that happened to the Israelites in a natural sense
were types and shadows of what we would experience in the realm of the Spirit.
- Paul emphasizes this: "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our
admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:11 Paul's first letter dealt with many
fundamental elements of divine order of the heart for God's people. His second letter went deeper still. He
moved on to discuss God's desire to reveal His glory and dwell in the hearts of His people. Paul began by
comparing God's glory in the wilderness with His glory as revealed under the New Covenant, he writes, "But if
the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not
stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How
shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?" 2 Corinthians 3:7,8 On the mountain Moses beheld
the form of the Lord and talked with Him as a man does with his friend. When he came down from the mountain,
Moses covered his face because the brilliance of it frightened people. Moses' countenance reflected that he
had been in the presence of the glory of God. In the New Covenant, God's plan is not for us to reflect His glory,
but for His glory to be seen in us! It is one thing to reflect something but quite another to abide in and emit it.
That is God's ultimate goal. That is why Paul could say, "But their minds were blinded: for until this day
remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ." 2
Corinthians 3:14 Even though the glory of the Old Covenant did not compare with the glory of the New, the Old
was still so awesome that Paul reiterates, "Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away."
(verse 13) Paul is quick to lament, "But their minds were blinded." How tragic that they could not see the very
thing they needed so desperately. Paul warns us so that we might not find ourselves blind and in the same
The Fear of God verses Being Afraid of God
- How were their minds blinded? They had just left Egypt and was led by Moses to Mound Sinai, where God
would reveal His glory, "And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to
morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will
come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai." Exodus19:10,11 This message was prophetic, for it
speaks of our day as well. Before God manifested His glory, the people were to sanctify themselves. This
included washing their clothes. Remember that a day with the Lord is as a thousand of our years. It is now
almost two thousand years (two days) since the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. God said that for those
two thousand years (two days), His church was to consecrate, or set ourselves apart, from the world in
preparation for His glory. Our garments were to be cleansed of the filth of the world (2 Corinthians 6:16; 7:1).
We are to become His bride without spot. After the two thousand years, He will again manifest His glory.
- On the morning of the third day, "And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders
and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the
people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God;
and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the
LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole
mount quaked greatly." Exodus 19:16-18 Notice that the people trembled and drew back. They no longer
wanted to hear God's audible voice. Neither did they want to look upon or be in the presence of His glory - they
were unable to bear it. Moses quickly warned them, "Do not fear....," encouraging them back into God's
presence as he explained that God had come to test them.
- Why does God test us? To find out what is in our hearts? Absolutely not. He already knows what is hidden in
our hearts. He tests us so that we might know what is in our hearts. What was the purpose of the test
presented to the Israelites? For them to know whether or not they feared God. If they feared Him they would
not sin. Sin results whenever we draw away from Him. Moses said, "Do not fear." Then he said that God had
come "...that His fear may be before you." This verse makes a distinction between being afraid of God and
fearing Him. Moses feared God, but the people did not. It is an infallible truth that if we do not fear God, we will
be afraid of Him at the revelation of His glory, for every knee shall bow to Him, if not out of godly fear then out of
terror (2 Corinthians 5:10-11). And then, "And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick
darkness where God was." Exodus 20:21 Look at the difference in the responses to God's manifested glory:
Israel drew back but Moses drew near. This illustrates the different responses of believers today.
Similarities Old Testament - New Testament
It is important that we realize the Israelites were not so very different from our modern church:
~ They all came out of Egypt, which typifies salvation.
~ They all experienced and benefited from the miracles of God, as have many in the church.
~ They all experienced deliverance from their oppressors, which many have experienced today in the church.
~ They still desired their old lifestyle, if they could have it without the bondage they experienced previously. How
often we see this in the church today. People are saved and delivered, yet their hearts never leave the lifestyle of the
world, although that lifestyle led them to bondage.
~ They experienced the wealth of the sinner that God had laid up for the just, The Bible records: "He also
brought them out with silver and gold..." (Psalm 105:37). Yet they used this blessing of God to build an idol. Have we
done the same today? We hear of financial miracles, yet often those who are most blessed end up bestowing their
affection and strength on material and financial blessings rather than upon the Lord who blessed them.
~ They experienced the healing power of God, for when they left Egypt the Bible records: "There was none
feeble among His tribes" (Psalm 105:37). That's even better than today's greatest miracle crusades. Moses left Egypt
with three million strong, healthy people. Can you imagine a city of three million with no one sick or in the hospital?
The Israelites had served under hardship for four hundred years. Imagine the healings and miracles which took place
as they ate the passover lamb.
The Israelites were no strangers to God's saving, healing, miracle-working, and delivering power. In fact, they
celebrated passionately whenever God moved miraculously on their behalf. They danced and praised much like we
do in our charismatic or Spirit-filled miracles services (Exodus 15:1,20). It is interesting to note that the Israelites were
drawn to His miraculous manifestations because they benefited from them, but were scared and drew back when His
glory was revealed. How different are we today? We are still drawn to miracles: people will travel miles and give big
offerings, hoping to receive double portions from God in miracle services. But what will happen when God's glory
is revealed? Then hearts will be exposed in His glorious presence. We can live with sin undetected
around the miraculous, but sin cannot hide in the light of His revealed glory.
What Blinded the People
- Forty years later, the older generation had died in the desert, and Moses reviewed for a new generation what
had happened at the mountain where God revealed His glory (how the people drew back). They cried out, "We
cannot approach His glorious presence nor stand in the midst of Him and live." They wanted Moses to hear for
them, and they promised to do whatever God said to do. They attempted to live by this pattern for thousands of
years but could not obey His words. How different are we today? Do we get God's Word from our pastor and
preachers but withdraw from the mountain of God? Are we afraid to hear His voice that lays bare the condition
of our hearts? This heart condition is no different than that of the children of Israel. Moses was very
disappointed with Israel's response. He could not understand their lack of hunger for God's presence. Moses
brought his concerns before God in hope of a remedy to this condition, "And the LORD heard the voice of your
words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, 'I have heard the voice of the words of this people,
which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken. O that there were such an
heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them,
and with their children for ever!'" Deuteronomy 5:28,29 God lamented, "Oh, that they had such a heart in them
that they would fear me..." They all could have been like Moses, reflecting God's glory and knowing His ways, if
they had but possessed hearts that feared God as Moses did. What blinded them? They did not have hearts
that feared the Lord. This was evidenced by their disobedience to the commandments and Word of God.
Moses feared the Lord.
- A person who fears God trembles at His Word and in His presence (Isaiah 66:2; Jeremiah 5:22). What does
it mean to tremble at His Word? To willingly obey God even when it appears more
advantageous to compromise or not obey His Word. Our hearts must be firmly established in the fact
that God is good. He is not a child-abuser. A person who fears God knows this, for he knows God's character.
That is why he or she will draw near to God even when others would draw back in terror. That person realizes
that any immediate or impending difficulty encountered at God's hand will ultimately bring forth good in the end.
Most would mentally agree with this, yet in times of hardship what we truly believe is clearly revealed. Only then
will we see our faith for what it is by the light of the fire of trials. The fear of God keeps us from the destructive
path of the deceived. Moses said that the fear of God in the hearts of His people is the strength to walk free
from sin (Exodus 20:20). Solomon wrote, "By the fear of the Lord one departs from evil" (Proverbs 16:6)..
Jesus warned the believers for a specific purpose, and preceded His exhortation to fear God with a warning
about the deceptive trap of hypocrisy, "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that
shall not be known." Luke 12:2 When we cover or hide sin to protect our reputations, we place a veil over our
hearts. We mistakenly think this veil causes us to appear pure, when actually we are not. This ultimately leads
to hypocrisy. So now we not only deceive others, but ourselves as well. The fear of God is our only
protection from hypocrisy. Then we will not hide sin in our hearts, because we will fear God more than the
opinions of mortal men. We will become more concerned with what God thinks of us than what man thinks. We
will be more concerned with God's desires than with our temporary comfort. We will esteem His Word more
valuable than man's. We will turn our hearts to the Lord.
An Outward Difference, An Inward Difference
Outwardly, or physically, you could not tell the difference between Moses and the children of Israel. They were all
descendants of Abraham. They had all left Egypt under the intervention of God's miraculous power. They were all
positioned to inherit God's promises. All professed to know and serve Jehovah. The difference was hidden in the
inner recesses of their hearts. Moses feared God; therefore, he perceived God's heart and ways. But because the
children of Israel did not fear God, they were blinded, and their understanding was darkened.
It is no different today. Christianity has almost become a club. You remember what a club is all about from when you
were a child. You'd join clubs because you wanted to belong. In the safety of a club, you are unified with the other
members because of a common interest or cause. It felt good to be a part of something bigger than yourself. The
club was behind you and gave you a sense of security.
There are many professing Christians who no more fear God than those who have never set foot in the church. As
secure members of the Christianity club, why should they be afraid? As a matter of fact, demons tremble more than
some in the church. James warned those who professed salvation but who lacked the fear of God, "You believe that
there is one God, You do well. Even the demons believe - and tremble." (James 2:19) These people sit in our
churches, work on ministry staffs, and preach from the pulpits. They come from all walks of life, ranging from ghettos
to the Hollywood fast lane. They confess salvation and love God's promises, but they are shortsighted - and like the
children of Israel, they do not fear God. Jude foresaw this day and warned that people would attend our churches and
profess salvation by God's grace, due to membership in the Christianity club. They would attend believers' gatherings
and participate without fear, all the while serving only themselves (Jude 1:12).
In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus said there would be those who would cast out devils, and do other wonders in His name,
calling Him Lord and Savior, yet neglecting to live in obedience to the will of God. Jesus described this condition as
"tares growing among wheat." You would not easily be able to tell the difference between the wheat and the tares.
Just as with Israel, the fire of God's glorious presence will ultimately expose the contents of every heart. This will be
the church's condition upon entering the season of harvest.
To Fear the Lord, To Tremble at His Word
- The Lord is the creator, ruler, and owner of the universe. As Supreme Authority, He placed man, with
delegated authority, in the garden. Man turned over his delegated dominion of the earth to Satan (Luke 4:6).
At the cross, Jesus redeemed back what was lost. Now we have a choice. We can relinquish complete
ownership of our lives to Jesus, or retain it and remain trapped under the dominion of a lost and dying world.
There is no third option, no middle ground, no in between.
- When we do not fear God and honor Him as Lord, we withhold a portion of the control of our lives. We may
confess Jesus as Lord, but our irreverence is made clear by the fruit of our lives. If we fear God, we will yield
completely to His authority as King and Lord, even if it means suffering hardships. God wants complete,
unconditional obedience - partial or selective obedience is the same as rebellion to His authority. It is the
evidence of a lack of the fear of God.
- Paul, Timothy, James, Peter, and Jude were all referred to in the epistles as bondservants: A bondservant
freely gives himself in service in repayment of a debt. It is not slavery, for a slave has no choice in the matter.
Bond-servitude is voluntary. We serve out of love, trust, and reverential fear of God. Only our combined love
for God and holy fear of Him fulfill our response to His lordship.
- The perfect law of liberty is Jesus. He is the living, revealed Word of God. John tells us, "For there are three
that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." 1 John 5:7
When we diligently seek Jesus, remain attentive to His Word under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, and obey
what is revealed, our eyes remain clear and unveiled. Then we an perceive His glory. There is a high calling for
every believer to be conformed to the glorious image of Jesus Christ. But if we are not diligent to obey God's
Word, we will unwittingly drift from His course set before us.
- We are changed into what we behold. If there is a veil over our spiritual eyes, then our image of the Lord is
distorted. In our minds, His image takes on the form of corruptible man rather than the incorruptible God He
really is. We then view His ways by the dim light of the culture in which we live. The lamp of the body is the eye -
it gives direction to our body. If your eyes behold the living Word of God, our entire being is filled with the light
of God's nature (1 John 1:5). We are continually transformed in this light of truth. Jesus said that eyes focused
on evil would have their entire being flooded with the nature of darkness. This describes the darkened heart of
an unbeliever. But to the person who knows God's Word, whose perception is darkened or veiled due to a lack
of holy fear, this darkness will actually be greater than the darkness that shrouds those who have never seen or
heard the truth (Matthew 6:33).
- Peter encourages us that God has "given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these
you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust:" (2
Peter 1:2-4) He explain that the fulfillment of this promise would be both conditional and progressive. For he
says, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that
shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:" 1 Peter 1:19 The condition:
Heed the exceeding great and precious promises. The progression: As we tremble and obey, then the light of
His glory will grow. It begins as the strength of dawn and continues from glory to glory until it shines as the sun
in full strength.
- Have an unwavering fear of God. Joseph was isolated and alone in a pagan land far from all he had known and
loved. He had no fellowship with believers. There was no brother to confide in. In this state of loneliness, his
master's wife attempted to seduce Joseph. Draped in silks and scented with the finest oils of Egypt, Potiphar's
wife daily pleaded with Joseph to lie with her. But Joseph demonstrated his fear of God. Although he had
experienced hardship and disappointment, he did not yield to Potiphar's wife. If he had lost his godly fear and
become offended with God, he would have lacked the strength to withstand temptation. He rebuffed Potiphar's
wife saying "How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9). Although Joseph's
obedience to God landed him in Pharaoh's dungeon, we find no evidence of his complaining or becoming
embittered. In the darkness of prison and the confines of chains, Joseph continued to fear God. During his
hardship, he comforted the other prisoners, interpreted their dreams, and told them about Jehovah.
- Complaining: the transformation stopper. Joseph's descendants were different. They obeyed when their
desires were met and when God manifested His mighty power on their behalf. Whenever they were discouraged
or felt abandoned, they quickly drifted into disobedience. The first symptom of such drifting always came in the
form of complaining. Those offended with God usually are not so foolish as to directly oppose Him. Instead,
they resist His Word or leadership. Complaining is a killer. It will short-circuit the life of God in you faster than
almost any other thing. Complaining is nothing more than a manifestation of insubordination to God's authority.
It is extremely irreverent. God hates it. The Lord admonishes us in Philippians 2:12-14, "Wherefore, my
beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much; more in my absence, work out
your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good
pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings:"
- Let His Glory shine forth: Job was another man who suffered greatly. He too was sorely tested. He tried to
make sense of all that he suffered but fell into despair. His friends came to counsel him but their words did not
help matters and only added to Job's confusion. He searched for wisdom but it eluded him. God was silent
while Job and his friends shared their futile attempts to understand His ways. God waited until all their opinions
were exhausted. He sent a preacher with wisdom named Elihu, but after this the Lord answered Job out of the
whirlwind. God expounds on and on, until Job is overwhelmed by God's awesome wisdom, understanding, and
strength. Job is overcome with holy fear, and cries out, "...Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and
ashes." Job 42:2-6 Job feared God. He saw God. He was transformed. His physical pain and loss had not
decreased but a greater sense of holy fear had been imparted. The fear contained the wisdom Job needed.
We who fear God are continually conformed to His image until we shine as brilliant lights in a dark world. This
describes the awesome glory His faithful church shall emit in these last days.
"The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant." Psalm 25:14
An intimate relationship and friendship with God will not even begin until the fear of God is firmly planted in our hearts.
God called two men His friends in scripture: Moses and Abraham, (although there may have been others). The Lord
may have done this so that we could benefit and receive insight into what God looks for in a friend.
- Moses was a man who knew God's ways. Exodus 33:11 says, "And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face,
as a man speaketh unto his friend..." Moses' face was unveiled for he feared God. Therefore, he was able to
talk with God on an intimate level. The result was: "He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the
children of Israel." Because Israel did not fear God, they were denied intimacy with Him. His ways and the
secrets of His covenant were not revealed to the Israelites. They knew Him in much the same way as we know
the president of the United States. The Israelites were not privy to the why of God's covenant. Israel only
perceived God's character as it was displayed in the natural world. God will only reveal Himself to those
who fear Him. Moses quite often knew why God did the things He did. The Bible describes this insight as
understanding. In fact, Moses often knew what God would do before He did it, for God would reveal it to Him in
advance. The Bible calls this wisdom. The psalmist tells us: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
a good understanding have all they that do his commandments; his praise endureth forever." To fear God is to
obey Him, even when it does not seem to be to our advantage. When we fear Him, He calls us friend, and
reveals the why, or the intentions and desires of His heart. We come to know Him not by His acts but His ways.
Read carefully Jesus' words to His disciples at the last supper, after Judas had departed, "Ye are my friends, if ye do
whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I
have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." This scripture
quotes a promise of friendship with the Lord with a very definite condition placed on this kind of friendship: "If ye do
whatsoever I command you."
- Abraham was considered God's friend. When Abraham was seventy-five years old, God came to Abraham and
cut a covenant with him Within the parameters of this covenant, God promised Abraham his heart's desire, a
son. Before the birth of this son, Abraham made several mistakes - some that were quite serious. Yet through it
all, Abraham believed and obeyed God and was fully persuaded that God would perform all that was promised.
When Abraham was ninety-nine years of age, his wife became pregnant, and their promised son, Isaac was
born. Abraham and Sarah experienced so much joy and expressed an abundance of love for this child. The
relationship between father and son became very close. The life of this boy meant more to Abraham than his
own... and then came the test, "And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said
unto him, "Abraham": and he said, 'Behold, here I am.' And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac,
whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the
mountains which I will tell thee of.'" Abraham was stunned. Father and son were so close. After all the years of
waiting for this priceless young man, God has asked for more than even Abraham's own life - He had asked for
his heart. It made no sense. But Abraham knew that God did not make mistakes. There was no denying what
God had already made clear. There were only two options for a covenant man - obey, or break covenant. To
break covenant was not even a consideration for this man of faith, he was so immersed in godly fear. Abraham
arose early in the morning - he did not talk it over with Sarah. He made a three-day journey and when he and
Isaac arrived at the designated place of worship, Abraham built an altar, bound his son, laid him on the altar,
reached for his knife and raised it over Isaac's throat. God spoke through an angel, stopping him in the midst of
his obedient act.
Abraham proved his fear by esteeming God's desires as even more important than his own. With the completion of
this test, God revealed a new fact of Himself to Abraham. He revealed Himself as Jehovah-Jireh. This revelation of
God's character means "Jehovah Sees." The Lord was revealing to Abraham the things that to other men were yet
"secrets" of His heart and character. But it is important to understand that God did not reveal Himself as "Jehovah
Sees" until Abraham had passed His test of holy fear.
Many claim to know the different characteristics and attributes of God's nature, yet they have never obeyed Him in the
hard places. Until we pass God's test of obedience, such statements proceed from our heads and not our hearts. It is
when we venture into the hard, arid wilderness of obedience that God reveals Himself as Jehovah-Jireh and friend.
We are living in a time when, more than ever, there is a lack of the fear of the Lord.
Too many pastors and ministries seem to desire attracting crowds over upholding
righteousness. They are afraid to preach the truth with boldness, worried that they
will jeopardize all they worked hard to build. So they tell people what they want to
hear and side skip confrontation. Sinners sit in our congregations unconvicted of sin
and unaware of what righteousness is all about. Many of these confused individuals
assume they are saved, when in fact they are not. At the same time, some ministers
pursue the favor and rewards of man without considering the favor of God, while
godly believers cry out, " Where is God?" Worst of all while our society remains
captive to darkness, the church is viewed with disdain. The church cannot really
help society because it is infected and diseased with a lack of the fear of the Lord.
God's answer...in the word remnant. Just as God found a remnant who trembled at
His word to fill with His glory in the former rain, so shall He find a remnant of
believers in these last days of the latter rain through which He will again reveal His
glory. The size or number of this group is not important. These believers will love
and obey Him no matter the expense to their personal lives. There are leaders,
ministers, and believers throughout the earth today who are crying out for just such
an outpouring. Let us not confuse a fresh move of God's Spirit, which many times is
accompanied by His power, anointing, and gifts with God's glory that is yet to come.
We fail to see God's coming glory with the eyes of our heart.
The Fear of the Lord, by John Bevere, Copyright 1997 by Charisma House.