I have had some things that scared me to death and I’ve had things that really comfort me. When I see the power of the US Military, it is really scary to think of all that they are capable of when it comes to fighting. It is also very comforting to know that the military is also protecting our citizens, and our borders. Over the years in my relationship with the Lord, there have been times when I’ve been scared of God. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing to have a healthy balance of fear and respect for Creator God. The more I know Him, the less I fear Him. The more I know Him, the more I respect and love Him. I think I was fearful of the judgment of God upon me. I feel like the longer I walk with Him, the deeper I know His heart. His heart is full of mercy and grace. He defines love.
There is also a justice component to the Lord. I was amazed at Solomon’s celebration for the dedication of the temple. This party was epic for sure. Check this out…
1 When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 2 The priests could not enter the temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. 3 When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying,
“He is good;
his love endures forever.” (2 Chronicles 7:1-3 NIV)
This scene reminded me of the time when Elijah squared off with the prophets of Baal in a sacrifice contest. When Elijah called upon the Lord to show His power to the people, fire came from heaven and consumed the sacrifice. God is Powerful beyond description. His Love is deep and wide for sure, but He hates disobedience and deception.
There is something really powerful about the Presence of God and His Truth. When I witness His Power, I’m a bit fearful. When I experience His Love, I’m comforted.
There is more to this story. After the big celebration that lasted several days, the Lord appeared to Solomon at night and reinforced His Promise to Solomon. Check this out…
12 the Lord appeared to him at night and said:
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.
13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:12-14 NIV)
19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. (2 Chronicles 7:19-20 NIV)
The Lord is full of Grace & Mercy, however, He wants more than my words of commitment. He wants my actions to reveal my commitment to Him. He wants my heart to be devoted to Him and His call upon my life.
I think a healthy respect for the Lord is certainly in order. I don’t need to become so comfortable walking with Him that I forget just how powerful He is. I want to walk in obedience and surrender to His way – then I don’t fear Him but I’m definitely comforted by Him.