"When I consider of all this — I fear Him!" Job 23:15
Thoughtless sinners are often fearless people; and to many, nothing is so painful as honest reflection. If they would be easy — they must not think; or at least they must not think upon serious subjects. Yet we must all eventually come to reflection — if we escape it here on earth — it will be said to us in Hell, "Son, remember!"
But what is it which produces this fear of God?
When I consider His law as holy, just, and good; when I view it as extending to my motives, thoughts, words, and actions; and compare my general conduct with it — then "I fear Him!" For I see that I have not kept His precepts, nor even aimed to keep them.
Just so when I consider the infinite purity of His nature, that he does, must, and will eternally hate and reject everything that is stained with moral defilement; and know that my nature is dreadfully depraved, that my heart is a sink, a fountain, an ocean of pollution — then "I fear Him!"
Also, when I consider His omnipotence, and know that it will be employed in punishing sin throughout eternity — and contrast it with my weakness, the very thought of being crushed by His power makes me "fear Him!"
Also, if I consider that His eye follows me, searches me, and penetrates my very being — the thought that my heart is desperately wicked, and my life a course of sin, makes me "fear Him!"
When I read the threatenings of His holy Word, so numerous, so dreadful — and yet so just; and consider that I am absolutely at His disposal, and cannot escape out of His hand — then "I fear Him!"
But especially when I consider His wrath as
revealed against sin, and as displayed . . .
in the destruction of the old world,
in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah,
in the punishment of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram,
and particularly as seen in the sufferings and death of His own Son, as the substitute of sinners, and think of my deserts — then "I fear Him!"
I am afraid of being called to His righteous judgment, of standing naked before Him, of being judged according to my works. I am afraid He will not have mercy upon me, pardon my sins, and save me with an everlasting salvation. Then my fear horrifies me, and, "I would gladly fly out of His hand!"
Is this your case, Reader? If so, let me direct you to a REMEDY for this fear.
Look at the Lord as revealed in Jesus — then His terror will not make you afraid, nor His power, law, or justice, terrify you. Here He is love. Here He is light — amiable, lovely, benevolent. God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.
Hear Him in the Gospel. Here He invites you to approach Him, promises you a full pardon, and presents to you a righteousness answerable to all the claims of His law and the demands of His justice.
Obey Him at once. He bids you to come — approach Him. He commands you to believe — confide in Him. He waits to be gracious — approach and be blessed. Use the name of Jesus as warranted. Plead it for all you need. Wear it as your choicest ornament. Trust in it, as your ground of acceptance with a holy God. Aim to please God in all things. He is easily pleased. If there is only a willing mind — it is accepted, according to what a man has, and not according to what he has not. Walk close with Him. He loves your company. He asks you to keep near Him. "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your steps." Keep your eye on the Redeemer. Jesus is the Mediator. He stands between God and every coming sinner. He presents his blood and obedience to the Father for your acceptance; and takes your poor, broken, sinful prayers — and cleanses, arranges, perfumes, and so presents them to the Most High God.
This is the remedy of all slavish fear; and thus acting, instead of saying, "When I consider of all this — I fear Him!" you will say, "When I consider all this — I love Him, I bless Him, I rejoice in Him."