The Fear of the Lord; November 6, 2022

Isaiah 65:12 “I called but you did not answer,
I spoke but you did not listen.
You did evil in my sight,
and chose what displeases me.”

This is a very solemn judgment. It’s an expansion of verse 11, that speaks of “forsaking the Lord.” It is the height of tragedy, yet we see it all the time, and particularly in nominally Christian countries. The capacity of human beings for evil is beyond our imagination, and it all stems from turning our backs on our Creator. One of the devil’s biggest deceptions is mirrored in Hillary Clinton’s infamous remark in the Benghazi hearings: “What difference does it make?” The devil tells us that it makes no difference what we do, that following the flesh is “only natural,” and there’s no special benefit to seeking the Lord. This chapter, from verse one through verse 16, lays out the difference in very clear terms. Fear isn’t perhaps the best motive for things, but the Bible throughout is very clear that without a fear of the Lord we aren’t going to get things right. The Bible also talks about loving God, and Jesus said that command was of the utmost importance, (Matthew 22:37-38) but our love will be very shallow without an awareness that we are totally dependent on God, and displeasing Him is the last thing we want to do. It is my impression that affluence makes people stupid. We start taking things for granted and forget where it all comes from. The comparison statements in verses 13 and 14 should be a wakeup call to everyone who knows the outline of the Gospel, at least, but doesn’t live it out in obedience.

I have written many times about how I was mired in spiritual pride for a period of my life, and how God in His great mercy gave me a glimpse of the state of my soul. The problem is, I haven’t been fully consistent in listening to the Lord in the years since then. I’m not to consign this passage to those cavorting in “Gay Pride” parades, but realize that I too am at risk. I too need to walk in the fear of the Lord at all times, so that my love for Him may result in the obedience that He desires, because it is the very best thing for me. I know in my head that His every command is for my benefit, but I’ve got to get that into my heart to live it out in joyful gratitude for His grace.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You also for this time of separation from my wife, to give me an even greater appreciation of what a good thing You’ve done for me in bringing us together. Help me indeed fear You properly so that I may love You properly, in grateful obedience, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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