I am convinced that one of the major things missing from our modern Christianity is a healthy awe and reverent fear of the God of the universe.
Now let me state clearly, that I believe that God is full of grace and kindness toward his people and that we need not fear His wrath and anger. Scripture is clear that the follower of God through Jesus Christ should not be driven by fear of condemnation.
But I have noticed a slide, even within myself, that I could be guilty of conveying the most comfortable side of God. I could be guilty of soft-pedaling a god of my own design, who is more like grandpa-god who gives candy to his children and we just curl up on his lap and fall asleep by the fireplace.
These thoughts were sparked as I was reading the book of Job this morning and right in the middle of chapter 24 Job asks for something that by the end of the book he receives . . .and once he receives it, he regrets asking for it! And “it” is an audience with the Almighty.
He says, starting in verse 3 “Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat! I would lay my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know what he would answer me and understand what he would say to me.
Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me. There an upright man could argue with him, and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.”
Job in the midst of his suffering speaks some pretty big words. In essence he says, I’ve got God all figured out, and if only I could come before HIM and make my case, then I know how it would all go down. And then fast forward to Job 40 where Job says starting in verse 3 “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.”
He who said he would fill his mouth with arguments covers his mouth with his hand in awe in the presence of the Almighty! We have all kinds of weak and pitiful thoughts about God, and some of them are half truths that will be corrected when we actually meet Him. And we will all meet Him.
The fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom. So let’s all wise up and recognize that he is worthy of awe, respect, and reverent fear. And this majestic, Almighty, creator of all . . . loves his children!
All it takes is a power outage to expose our feeble fakeness. Agricultural societies have more holy fear of God than we.
Yes to what you wrote. I had never considered that Job asked for an audience with God, got what he asked for, and came away radically altered. And apparently there wasn’t much that needed changing about Job to begin with. Unlike me! The fear of the Lord IS the beginning of all right thinking.