"Blessed Be Thy Glorious Name!"
By Lois J. Stucky
Several Herald readers have requested an article concerning the fear of God. They are aware as many of us are that we are living in an hour when there is an awful lack of the fear of God. What Christian has not been grieved and sometimes righteously angered at the lack of reverence and fear of God in today’s society?
We hear it in the awful profanity and the taking of our holy God’s Name in vain. We read of it in the frightful crimes reported daily in the news, acts committed by ones who have no regard for God and His commands that we lie not, steal not nor kill. "The fear of God is to hate evil" (Prov. 8:13), not indulge in it.
We shudder when we learn of Satan worshipers and those involved in occult activities that delve into realms of darkness that diametrically oppose God and His Word. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). And many more are the indications of the lack of fear of our Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth and all that dwells therein. How it behooves us as Christians, in sharp contrast, to "Stand up and bless the Lord [our] God for ever and ever" (Neh. 9:5).
We must keep up our guard lest we become infected by the disrespectful and irreverent attitudes and actions of the world. It is not hard for the willful, frivolous, flippant spirit permeating this age to be picked up. It is seen in young children who are not taught proper respect and obedience to parents; it enters the school with them and is displayed against teachers, and carries on through youth and adulthood in defiance of the law of the land. I once watched from my window a carload of laughing, joking youth who were being checked for suspicious actions by policemen. This was in an above average community. The young people’s disrespect was alarming and ominous of worse trouble that might lie ahead. And what of the day when they stand before God to give account of themselves to God! There will be no laughing and joking then!
Yes, it behooves us as Christians to be lights in our world where many love darkness and walk in it (John 3:19,20). The holy, reverent fear of God which Christians should manifest, is not something we must laboriously drudge at in order to live it out. This is something that flows spontaneously out of a life that is full of loving devotion to God. It springs from a humble heart that is ever amazed at the grace of God operating within and that longs to please and glorify Him more perfectly.
It is marked by carefulness lest we grieve or displease or sin against our Beloved Lord. It is quick to respond to any conviction of the Holy Spirit where we infringe. Let us not only keep our relationship with God in full bloom, but grow robust in the godly fear of God by feeding on the Word of God.
The article in this issue on the fear of God, takes us from the dread of God which the unsaved person may have, to the appropriate godly fear of the Christian. We encourage you to take time to read how to increase in godly fear, and to be encouraged by the reminders of blessings God bestows on the one who fears Him. Other articles in this issue help us to exalt our most wonderful God and to have our hearts rekindled by reading of His glorious and splendid character. Might God help us to be so filled with the Holy Spirit that by His enabling, our lives will ever exalt God our Father and His Beloved Son in a worthy manner! And might others see and be helped to exalt Him as well, especially our precious children and new converts coming out of a worldly life.