Now, therefore, fear the LORD
Insights: This issue of NOT fearing the Lord is one of the greatest downfalls of the Church. We live in a society of easy-believism and a carefree, live as you please attitudes. Even within the church we live as if the answer to Paul’s question is, “Yes.” Paul wrote in his letter to the Roman’s, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be (6:1-2a)!” The reason we live with such a cavalier attitude toward sin is because we really do not believe God, a God of love and mercy, is really going to punish us for our transgressions against Him. We have completely missed the difference between forgiveness and consequences. 1 John 1:9 is absolutely true, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So, it is true God is love and does not want to punish us for our sins (1 John 4:8b). At the same time, however, Exodus 34:7b is also true, “Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished.” Let me give an example: An unwed couple decides to have sex before marriage even though they know God says this is wrong and sinful. Along the way, the girl becomes pregnant. They go to God and confess and repent of their sin and God does forgive them. Does God’s forgiveness remove the pregnancy and all the consequences that come with their decision to have sex before marriage? If we are a Believer, then Romans 8:28 gives us hope. It states, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.” In our illustration was it God’s will for the premarital sex? No. The couple has now confessed and repented and the process of sanctification begins. God uses the consequences, the baby in this illustration, as a way of molding these two people into His image. Considering this illustration often times happens to young people, does God’s working this out to their good mean there are only good, happy days in front of this couple? Absolutely not, there will in fact be more difficult days before them than God would have desired. The point today is that if we had a proper fear of God and the consequences that accompany our sins, we would be careful to avoid sin. Beloved, let us live life with a proper fear of God.
- Do you live your life as if there are no consequences to your sin?
- Do you have proper fear of such consequences?
Prayer: Merciful Father, I thank You that You do forgive me of my transgressions. Lord, in our easy-believism culture, however, I often forget there are consequences to my sin. Help, me to understand the devastating consequences to my haphazard approach to You and sin. Amen.