“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
It can become ingrained in men to fear nothing, and by no means is a man to display his emotions. While women are often afraid of mice, and children can be afraid of spiders, it is our job to step in to save the day by stepping on them, trapping them, or picking them up by their tails. Even in the middle of the night when our wives hear that noise downstairs that we slept through and thus never heard, it is our job to go investigate in the dark, even if we have to hide our own fear. We would rather step into the danger of the unknown, than lose respect or lose face by revealing our own fears.
Society cries from the rooftops that God is not to be feared, because He does not even exist. In fact, we are an accident of two molecules that just happened to collide billions of years ago. Enjoy life and make the most of it, because there is nothing to fear. Ironically, if that truly were the case, then there really is no such thing as moral law. And if there is no moral law the structure of society breaks down into chaos because everyone can do what is right in their own eyes. In such a society, there is no such thing as sin, and there is nothing wrong with the strong overpowering the weak.
Or those that cannot bring themselves to believe the fiction of evolution, allow God to exist, but then place themselves equal to or above God as a judge of His character and power.
In other words, we choose to lift ourselves above God to render a verdict utilizing our limited perspective and understanding as to whether God should really be allowed to create an eternal place of punishment (hell) or if He should be loving enough that He breaks His own laws to allow everyone to enter heaven. We lift ourselves up to God’s level to determine whether a sin is really a sin, or even when a baby is really a baby and when it is just an inconvenience.
The ultimate question that trumps all others that we will encounter and must answer throughout our lives is: whether we fear God, or worship man. You see, fearing God is not a matter of cowering before Him, it is the divine revelation that we are a created being and His wisdom and understanding far exceeds our own. Yet it’s more than a reverence and respect, even as the church has attempted to water it down and describe it as.
If God were pictured as a loving Father, His kids would know His love, but they would also understand that love in action by their also experiencing His discipline upon breaking His rules. Besides which, throughout scripture, anyone who came into the presence of God fell down as dead (John in Revelation), or immediately feared for their lives because they saw their own sin, His righteousness, and assumed they would die (such as Elijah).
It is the difference in how we measure something. When we are constructing a building or addition to a building, carpenters will always reach for a solid, unchanging, always accurate tape measure or yardstick. No one wants to use a yardstick made of rubber that can be stretched to make the measurement read whatever number the carpenter wishes. That would be foolish, and would either result in the building falling down, or the building not being constructed to the specifications of the owner.
Yet, society does not want to believe that there is an Absolute Truth that is beyond their scope of understanding or control. If we have to admit that there is a standard and Absolute Truth that can never change, then we have to admit that there is someone who established this Truth: God. Then we must choose if we are going to bend our knee and submit to this Creator of all, or rebel. Ironically, we ultimately fool ourselves because even if we choose to pretend that God doesn’t exist, or choose to rebel, it doesn’t mean we are any more in charge than if we had submitted to Him and His Truth. You see, refusing to submit to gravity doesn’t mean you will fly when you jump off a tall building. The Truth of gravity will still result in your free fall.
No, instead, as Godly men, we must choose to fear God by understanding and realizing that everything is in His control. Submitting to Him and His Will actually gives meaning and purpose to life so that we do not have to despair and spend our lives chasing after the wind. Through a deeper understanding of His Word, we are able to find fulfillment and rest, obediently laboring in His work appointed for us, to one day hear Him say, “well done good and faithful servant.”
Jesus teaches in Luke 12:4,5: “My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has the power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” Understand that God’s desire is for us to trust Him, and that no one has the ability to harm us eternally – we choose whether to fear God or not. Thus we must choose, as Godly men, to invest wholeheartedly into His kingdom, knowing life here is temporary anyways, and no longer fear what man, or Satan tries to do to compel us to either deny our faith, or hide it.
Whom do you fear?
What type of yardstick do you use? Do you expect others to use an Absolute Truth around you or a truth relative to themselves?
By your words and actions are you teaching/modeling for your children, wife, or others around you the fear of God?
Choose whom you will fear, and who you will no longer fear. Set your heart and mind to stay the course even in the midst of turmoil – choosing to be the salt and light to the world that Jesus described in Matthew.