Unhealthy Fear Of God

Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.  Hebrews 8:5-6

  • Moses was mediator of the first covenant. Jesus is the mediator of the second.
  • Moses brought the law down from Mt. Sanai to the people on stone. Jesus goes the final step by writing the law on the hearts of His people.
  • Moses commanded the people to obey the Law that they could see in front of them. Jesus inscribes the Law where we cannot see it – on the hearts of His people.
  • Moses commanded the people to obey it. Jesus, under the power of His Spirit, empowers His children to obey it.
  • Moses made sure the people understood that the price for disobedience was grave. Jesus provided His own blood to atone for sin and radically forgives upon repentance in this age of grace.

How vastly different is the old from the new!  Radically.  Jesus is the mediator for whom the people had been waiting.  Do I have any idea how blessed I am to be born in a time when God’s Spirit invites me into a relationship?  When I accept, He calls me His temple and moves inside.  He is not a judge to dread but a companion to be treasured.  His holiness is not fearsome and repelling – as it was for the children of Israel when they were too afraid to hear God speak (and asked Moses to speak on His behalf).  God’s presence and perfection is now cherished as He reveals Himself and gives me the ability to become like Him.

Those who are too afraid, even today, to hear the voice of God end up in blatant disobedience.  Those who are eager to hear it are eager to keep His Word.  That is an interesting dynamic.  A friend of our family has said repeatedly that he is too afraid to enter a church because if he were in the presence of God, he would be struck dead.  While that fear is unnecessary, it does not produce any remnant of holiness in his life.  He is quick to curse God and live recklessly irreverent.  Fear does not equal respect.  And was this not also borne out in Israel’s history?  Yes, they were too afraid to hear God speak but it wasn’t long until they also entered into blasphemy and open disobedience. Their wincing at the Light caused them to turn away from it.

Now, God’s voice is inside every believer.  When I’m quiet, when I commune in prayer, and when I read His Words, I can hear Him speak.  This proximity and intimacy bears the sweetest fruit.  Not only do I cherish obedience, I’m eager to sift through the thoughts and intents of my heart ~ knowing that doing so will lead me to think like Jesus, feel like Jesus, and walk in Jesus’ footsteps.

My heart ~ Your home.  Your Presence ~ my joy. Amen

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