The Fear of the Lord

February 24, 2009

I'm realizing lately that I have not sufficiently wrestled with Jesus' words in Matthew 24:21-22:

“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”
(Matthew 24:21-22 NKJV)

Jesus made such an alarming statement - there has never been a more difficult time in history and there will never be a time more intense and dramatic than what is coming. He's saying it's greater than the global effects of all of the world wars, and will include pestilence, fearful sighs from heaven, demonic powers raging at levels never seen before, and the earth being shaken like it never has before. It's so easy to "romanticize" and just gloss over these things, either thinking that we will be removed from the situation or completely protected in the midst of it.

In the days of Noah we can find similarities to the coming hour, but it is not sufficient to describe them completely. In Noah’s day, it had never rained before and there were never any boats. There was nothing to compare the flood to. But Noah acted in godly fear, saying “I don’t know what a boat or rain is, but I do know your voice.” Noah obeyed God for 120 years despite the accusation and revilement of his neighbors and even some of his own family. What Noah did made no sense before it started to rain. He went from being the most foolish man to the wisest man on the planet when the rain began.

According to Luke 21:26, fear will be the predominant emotion gripping the hearts of men in the coming days. In the way that Noah was moved by godly fear, I want to be gripped with the fear of the Lord more than the fear of the events of the end-times. Satan seeks to overcome us first with fear. Why? He knows that fear opens the door in a person’s life to many compromises. Many will worship the Antichrist out of fear of lacking life resources.

“The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread.”
(Isaiah 8:13 NKJV)

Do we really have a plan to live with urgency and focus, storing up the "oil of intimacy" in our hearts so that when the great Day comes upon us, we will be prepared with confidence in our spirit? The great exhortation of Jesus is not to store up water, soup, and guns, but to simply "watch and pray".

We need the fear of the Lord to grip us at an entirely new level.


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Cool observation on Noah

I really like your observation about Noah going from the most foolish to the wisest man on the planet the moment it started to rain. I'm sure that is how the faithful church will look to the world as it worships the anti-christ.

My family and I are reading through Revelation at the moment during our family worship time and it makes me wonder what the turning point will be in the hearts of the unbelievers. I mean, did the inhabitants of the world during Noah's time continue to mock him when the water was at their knees? Their chest? Their head? If they didn't, it would be odd, because that seems to be exactly what the world does in Revelation. Even through the seventh trumpet the world still refuses to acknowledge their evil and cease worshiping their false gods. And then of course you have the remnant who still rebel even after the millennial reign.

It makes me think that there were people literally drowning and thinking how stupid Moses was for building a boat on sand...

At the same time, I wonder what true preparation looks like. Obviously, the people who get called foolish the most right now are people like the Mormons and the JWs who have been stock piling supplies for the end times for years. On the other hand, considering the reality of the calamity approaching the earth, doesn't that sound wise from a heavenly perspective? If you're not going to be able to get supplies unless you take the mark of the beast, then shouldn't you get what you can now in preparation? Obviously, God will release supernatural provision for his people in that day, but still, what the world calls foolish and mocks most openly isn't necessarily the wisest course of action...

Good post, Josh! As always.

It is crazy thinking about

It is crazy thinking about the defiance of unbelievers towards God at the end... It all goes back to the "mystery of iniquity", and what is deeply rooted in the heart of every human because of the fall.

And the idea of true preparation for what's coming is actually offensive to our fallen minds. We think "surely He wants us to do more than watch and pray". But that's all He told us to do. Stockpiling supplies for the end times might seem like wisdom, but if you're truly walking in the sermon on the mount you'll end up giving it all away when calamity hits anyways. The Lord provided daily food for His people in the wilderness for 40 years. How much more will He provide for us in the most intense hour in human history?

Even in saying that I'm realizing that the measure of faith I walk in today is directly proportional to the confidence I have in His provision, guidance, direction, and joy and peace in the 3.5 years before His return. It's why I need more faith!! Help Lord!

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that's a good word man. I want that to happen in my life.

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