The Fear of the Lord

Is it possible to fear the Lord a little but not enough? Reading 1 Samuel chapters 4-7 the Philistines stole the Ark of the Lord and defeated the Israelites. As a trophy they brought the Ark into the Philistine camps first to Ashdod, then to Gath then to Ekron. In every city the presence of the Ark of the Lord created chaos. Tumors, Death and Infestations of Rats. Their hand made God’s were found on the ground with their heads and feet smashed. They had seen what the God of Israel had done to the Egyptians and decided to Honor the Lord  by returning the arch with a guilt offering. They even created a test to make sure that it was the God of Israel that had inflicted them and that it wasn’t by chance. God showed His great power and defended His name, the Philistines feared God. But not enough… Not enough to get rid of their defeated and broken Idols, the rebuilt them and set them up right. Not enough to withdraw from the Israelite territories. Even after returning the Ark the continued to oppress the Israelites for 20 years! How can the stand before a great God whose very presence destroyed their cities and tore down their idols and still defy him? Is it possible to fear the Lord a little but not enough? It wasn’t until the Israelites who had also seen these mighty works of the Lord 20 years later repented and got rid of their own Idols and decided to fear the Lord only that the Philistines were defeated. I have always been dumfounded by the people who got to see the physical miracles of the Lord, the plagues, the manna, the parting of the red sea yet they didn’t fully submit to the Lord. Over time God has shown me that I exhibit that same stupidity when I have witnessed God’s mighty hand and fear the Lord enough to go to church, be nice to people, try not to curse, don’t get drunk, yet I have my own weak idols stashed away that I do not abolish.  Psalm Chapter 9 says that the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of all understanding. This is not a fear like the one we have of the bogie man, but a fear of reverence and respect that He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do. I have always said that we don’t fear the Lord enough in his blessings and his curses. The fear of the Lord should not allow us to stay in our safe and tidy comfort zones, it should push us to extremes, It should push us to total abandonment unto Christ, it should push us to relentless zeal for the Lord and His statutes. It is possible to fear the Lord a little but not enough unfortunately we do this every time we openly choose to defy him in the face of His great and mighty work.

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