AFRAID OF GOD????
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:10
There are some who may accuse those who attend church as those who come because they are afraid of God. My reply is, “absolutely!”. And the wicked who make this accusation can not begin to comprehend the seriousness of their observation.
Proverbs 28:1 says that the wicked flee when no one pursues them, but the righteous stand bold as a lion. I’ve always looked at that passages conveying the idea that the wicked with no constraints, will do the things they very well please. And they do so because they have no fear of God nor any realization of the divine consequence of their sin.
Paul states in the first chapter of Romans, verse 18, that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. One of the ways that the Lord may reveal His displeasure, His wrath against sin, is by removing restraint and letting people go to their sins. Paul had written in his second letter to the church at Thessalonica, that He who restrains will do so until he be taken out of the way…..and then the lawless one will be revealed. Once this Antichrist comes to reign, at the midpoint of the Tribulation, leaving forty-two months to his rule, the restraint will be removed. At this juncture of time, Jesus makes it perfectly clear that if you are on the roof top, don’t go back inside the house to get anything; rather flee to the wilderness for it’s about to get ugly.
Throughout the Bible we read of men holding no fear of God. In their own intellectual pseudo fed world, they worship and serve only themselves. Afraid of God? The humble and contrite ones fear Him and come humbly before Him to seek His forgiveness and the impartation of righteousness, of which He demands from those who will come into His presence.
EVERYTHING THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD
“Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam, King of Israel, saying, “Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said: ‘Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive from their own land.’” Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Go, you seer! Flee to the land of Judah. There eat bread. There prophesy. But never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the King’s sanctuary, and it is the royal residence.” Amos 7:10-13
Amos, the prophet had spoken words that cut deep into the heart of Israel’s leadership. In so doing, they accuse him of conspiring against the king.
We might say, “the truth really hurts, doesn’t it?”
King Jeroboam was not the only king who had surrounded himself with false prophets and religious leaders liken unto this Amaziah. They would speak lying words apart from any divine inspiration. Oh, they’d pretend that they were speaking for the Lord, but never could they, because they had never been sent, such as Amos had been, from God.
Amos, a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore trees, had been sent by God to pronounce judgment upon all the wicked nations surrounding the northern kingdom of Israel. He declared, “I was no prophet….but then the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go prophesy to My people Israel.’” He then went on to tell them to hear of the Word of the Lord. He told them that they were as ripe for judgment as over ripened summer fruit was ready to be cast out. And through the many words of judgment pronounced, Amos went on to proclaim that because of Israel’s sin and rebellion, they would experience a time of not hearing the word of the Lord. But as always, God’s love never fails and He promises to restore them to the land that God had promised.
Oh, we ask, “how could Israel have wandered so far away from the Lord?” Just by one step at a time to those things the Lord had warned them to avoid at all costs. But alas, they fell into the idolatry of their pagan neighbors and walked in rebellion to the commandments of the Lord which had been given to them to obey.
Alas, after years of dispersion, they would finally, by God’s grace being given to them, realize, that everything that glitters is not gold. And the words of Amos the prophet resounds as clearly for Israel in this time, as it did when God had commanded Amos to speak: “Prepare to meet your God, O Israel!”
Dear church, men like the false priest Amaziah still are running rampant in the world today, masquerading as representatives of God. He never sent them.
And again….everything that glitters is not gold.