19.8.05

Mostly Harmless?

An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. (Ps 36:1)

One of the easiest ways to see the need for a right fear of the Lord is to examine what happens when it is not present. Where there is no fear of the Lord, there is no moral restraint on behavior. Abraham feared for his life in Abimelech's kingdom, because he believed there was "no fear of God in this place."

Whilst it is unthinkable that the Church would ever abandon the fear of the Lord to this degree; it nevertheless can become eroded. On a subconscious level Christians can adopt an attitude that reveals they have lost some of the right fear of the Lord. Would I turn up late to a meeting, if I really believed God, the awesome maker of the Universe was present in the gathering? Would I not bother to turn up, because I didn't feel like it, or had other things to do?

We can become over familiar with this wonderous grace in which we stand before God. When this happens, in creeps the attitude that treats God like one of our buddies: "You don't mind, do you? -- didn't think so." God does mind! He is not one of our buddies. He is a jealous God, who demands and deserves our undivided loyalty and love. Is it right that we give our boss or our elders more respect than we give to God himself?!

Those who have subconsciously adopted this "Mostly Harmless" attitude towards God, or consider that the awesome and fearful God of the Old Testament somehow had a personality transplant with the advent of the New Covenant [Marcionite heresy] should consider again the story of Anianias and Sopphira (Acts 5).

A right fear of God may make us feel safe - but it should also constantly remind us that God himself is anything but "safe!"


“Ooh,” said Susan, “I thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie,” said Mrs. Beaver. “And make no mistake, if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then isn’t he safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? Of course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king, I tell you!”

-- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; CS Lewis

2 comments:

Paul Sunde said...

Great post! I loved the quote from C.S.Lewis.

Chris HH said...

Thanks Paul. I appreciate your feedback.