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Fearing God – Job Part 2

January 5, 2010

Most any solid home will have a particular parent, usually the father, who is the disciplinary lead in the family.  In other words, if you were a kid and you got into trouble, you would much rather have the other parent find out than this one.  Discipline, in its correct form, exists out of love and concern.  I know when I was growing up there were times I avoided certain situations or doing certain things because I feared the discipline that would come if I got caught.  Praise the Lord that discipline was there to guide me onto the right path and steer me away from evil.  It is good to have a healthy fear of whichever parent, or in some cases both, who act as the disciplinary lead in the family.  In the same way, it is good for every Christian to have a healthy fear of God.

Job was a man who was blameless and upright.  A man of moral integrity and right living.  Job was also a man who had a healthy fear of God and who made every attempt he could to avoid evil.

In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blamelessand upright;he feared God and shunned evil.  He had seven sons and three daughters,and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East.  Job 1:1-2

Fearing God

The word “feared” in Job 1:1 is not the word that is used to mean terror but rather to mean reverence.  Webster’s Dictionary defines reverence as “Awe combined with respect.” In other words, Job was a man who lived in awe of God and respected of who he was and what he could do.  He had a healthy fear of God.

Sometimes we can get off track and think of God as the little boy with the magnifying glass who is trying to burn ants with the sunlight.  When we do that, our fear of God is in fact a terror of God and that’s not how He intends our relationship to be with him.  Consider some of the scriptures that describe a healthy fear of the Lord.

  • Proverbs 3:7-8 – “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord ad shun evil.  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
  • Proverbs 9:10 – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.”
  • Psalm 89:7 – “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.”

Not much is said about Job’s sons and daughters, but one thing the scriptures do tell us is that Job’s fear of the Lord led him to sacrifice a burnt offering for them in the off-chance that they had done something to offend the Lord.

His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.  Job 1:4-5

A healthy fear of the Lord drove many of Job’s actions on a day to day basis.  In fact, I believe it goes hand in hand with the last characteristic the scriptures describe about Job for us.  His avoidance of evil.

Avoiding Evil

It’s not easy to do and nobody bats a thousand when it comes to avoiding evil.  However, it is possible to avoid more today than we did yesterday.  Have you ever opened the refrigerator and found a container that had been hiding on the middle shelf for who knows how long, only to open it and be immediately repulsed by what was inside?  A brief pop of the lid and the stench from inside hits your nose and instantly you close the lid, turn your head, scrunch your face and yell “SHEWWW!”  I think we’ve all been there a time or two haven’t we?  Anyway, the action of turning away or avoiding that stench is similar to what the scriptures say about Job shunning or avoiding evil.  I believe Job’s desire to avoid evil came from his healthy awe and respect of the Lord.  Perhaps because he didn’t want to disappoint the Lord.  More than likely it was because he feared God’s discipline.  In either case, Job got into the habit of turning away from evil rather than turning towards it.  A habit many of us would do well to develop in 2010.

Extremes are most often a bad place to be in the Christian life.  God is not the little boy with the magnifying glass trying to burn the ants with sunlight nor is he a gentle giant.  He is God and we would all do well to develop a healthy fear of him.  When we live with an awe and respect of the Lord God Almighty, our senses begin to change and we are repulsed by sin and disgusted with evil.  We become less like self and more like Christ.  A great goal for us in 2010.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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