Read through the Bible in 2 Years: Genesis 20-22
"Abraham said, "I did it because I thought, 'There is no fear of God at all in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.'" - Genesis 20:11 ESV
Did any of you find it ironic when Abraham said “there is no fear of God at all in this place” when he deceived Abimelech? Wasn’t Abraham himself failing to fear God when he chose to tell Abimelech that Sarah was only his sister, rather than confessing that she was his wife?
Fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Like Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.”
Then, two chapters later, Abraham has proven that he trusts God, going so far as to obey the Lord’s command to offer Isaac, believing that “God was able even to raise him from the dead,” (Hebrews 11:19)
As Abraham is about to sacrifice his promised son, Isaac, the Lord’s messenger says, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” (Genesis 22:12 ESV)
It reminds me of Jesus’s words in Luke 12:4-5 about the right fear of the Lord,
"I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!"
But Jesus’s very next words are,
"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6-7)
So, let me get this right: Don’t fear man because they can only kill your body. Rather, fear God who has authority to cast you into hell, but then again …. FEAR NOT! You are way more valuable to God than many sparrows!”
Here’s how that makes sense to me: God’s children don’t need to fear because He will protect them from His wrath by the blood of His Son, but whoever continues to turn away from Him better be afraid because He is a just and righteous judge.
May we not “presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance.” (Romans 2:4)
Will you pray with me?
Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for sending Your Son, the God-Man Christ Jesus, to be the propitation for my sins.
Thank You for His One perfect sacrifice which tore the temple curtain in two that we can now come into the Holy of Holies and meet with You.
Let us not presume on the riches of You kindness and patience. Rather, let us humbly bow before You in reverence, seeing our need for our Savior.
We were all bound like Isaac, unable to escape from our sins, and Jesus was that perfect Lamb that was offered in our place.
We pray for a right fear of You, Holy God, that we will not be afraid of man nor of our daily circumstances that can indeed be scary. Let us not fear anything that is frightening because our trust is in You who judges justly.
By the Name of our Gracious Savior Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.