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Monday, January 18, 2010

Courage through Fear

“But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.” Exodus 1:17

To stand up and refuse to obey Pharaoh was no small matter. The king of Egypt at the time of the Exodus was not just the king of Egypt, but in many ways the most powerful and feared man in all the world. It would seem that if someone were to fear and obey anyone on earth at that time, it would be Pharaoh. But when he commanded the Hebrew midwives to kill the sons of the Hebrews, the midwives refused because they feared something greater than Pharaoh. They didn't ask themselves what Pharaoh would do if they were disobedient. Instead, they asked what God would do if they killed the sons of His chosen nation. Because they feared God more than man, these humble midwives showed great courage. The fear of God seems to be a concept altogether lost on the present day Christian in the Western church. Who do we fear more, our boss asking us to constantly neglect our families for the sake of profit margins or the God who established our families as an instrument for His glory? Do we fear bankruptcy more than we fear God's calling to give generously to the poor? Do we fear rejection from our friends if we don't do this or that or do we fear the God who asks us to live righteously? Who do we fear more, man or God? I often times find myself reasoning that since I live under grace, the fear of God is no longer necessary. But that couldn't be further from the truth. In Hebrews it says, "For the Lord disciplines the ones he loves," (12:6) and in Hebrews 10:31 says, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Saved or unsaved, God is more frightful than anything on this earth. We should have courage to face any man or thing on this earth, not because we have no fear, but because we fear God more.

Lord Jesus, let our lives read like the epitaph on Lord Lawrence's tomb, "He feared man so little, because he feared God so much."

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