The Fear of the Lord (part 2)

THE FEAR OF THE LORD                         

God is teaching me that there is another majestic side to the fear of the Lord. How tragic it is when we cannot see the very thing we need so desperately (the fear of the Lord; reverence or deep respect for God). We know the fear of the Lord is associated with the glory of God. What happens to humans when God’s glory is released into the natural world? There are many examples in the Bible and a clear pattern emerges when you study the scripture (John Bevere).

Divine order (takes different forms) always precedes the release of God’s glory and when God’s glory is released great blessing follows or immediate judgment for irreverence, disorder or disobedience. Two examples of God’s immediate judgment that have always troubled me are the death of Uzzah when he tried to steady the falling Ark of God (2 Samuel 6:1-8), and the death of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). Following the model above, I wanted to study these two passages to uncover principles that I could apply to today as we wait for the release of God’s glory with the approach of His second coming that has been promised (Acts 2:17). Given the outcomes of the two passages above, I want to be on the right side of God’s glory when it is released (the blessing side not the judgment side). Furthermore, John Bevere argues that the revealed glory of God in the latter days will exceed that displayed in the Book of Acts when God established His church. Therefore, I can assume that the blessings and immediate judgment will be greater. If we do not fear God, we will be afraid of God and withdraw from Him when His glory is revealed (Exodus 20:21). If we fear God (deep reverence) we will draw near to Him. I want to be ready.

“The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts.” – Haggai 2:9

2 SAMUEL 6:1-8

Background:

A review of the time between Moses and David shows that the glory of the Lord had filled the tabernacle of Moses but the people became indifferent to the Lord and reached a low under Eli’s leadership. The glory of the Lord was close to departing the tabernacle. Furthermore, the Ark of God had been captured by the Philistines and as they moved the Ark to different cities catastrophe followed. The Philistines kept moving the Ark in the hope catastrophe would not occur but to no avail.  The Philistines decided to return the Ark to Israel after David had defeated the Philistines and recaptured Jerusalem. They put the Ark on a cart that was drawn by two cows (with calves). They placed the calves in a pen believing that the cows would not leave the calves and if they did leave with the Ark, it would be due to the God of Israel. Then they would know that they had done the correct thing to escape further catastrophe. David called all the leaders of Israel to discuss the return of the Ark (fatal mistake 1). They decided to set the Ark of God on a new cart drawn by oxen (fatal mistake 2). The oxen stumbled and the Ark was about to fall. Uzzah put his hand out to prevent the Ark from falling, God’s anger was aroused against Uzzah and he died.

Divine order:

God would return the Ark that had been captured by the Philistines to Israel. God called David back into the Word of God to renew his understanding and Godly practices that he had forgotten and neglected. The retraining of David was part of the divine order.

Glory revealed:

Eventually David would rebuild the tabernacle and God’s glory would return and dwell in the tabernacle of David with the people of Israel.

Blessings/Judgment:

God would protect David’s kingdom from his enemies. Uzzah dies as he tries to steady the Ark from falling off the cart.

Fatal mistake 1:

David and the priests had forgotten the Word of God and were not in the Word daily, therefore, they made a worldly decision contrary to God’s law (Deuteronomy 17:18-19). David had neglected his responsibility.

Fatal mistake 2:

David and the leaders placed the Ark on a new cart when God had told the Israelites that the Ark could only be moved by the Levites using poles (Deuteronomy 10:8). Due to David’s lack of understanding he and the leaders had been seduced by the secular narrative and simply copied the transport method of the Philistines. Uzzah paid the price of David’s sin. Uzzah was filled with good intentions yet his action was offensive to God’s glory (John Bevere).

ACTS 5

Background:

Jesus was going to establish His church in power and glory. John the Baptist was the forerunner for Jesus (preparing the way of the Lord and making the people ready for the glory that would come in Jesus Christ). Jesus had died and was resurrected but He told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come in power as counselor and guide.

Divine order:

 Jesus’ presence on earth had established His kingdom on earth. This kingdom was to be established in the hearts of people. Jesus had prepared the disciples and saints for the introduction of the church in power and glory.

Glory revealed:

The Holy Spirit came in power and glory at Pentecost to establish His church.

Blessings/judgment:

The disciples operated in power and glory. Peter taught the gospel and many were saved. Everywhere the saints went, cities were affected (Acts 17:6). Furthermore, people brought the sick into the streets (yes plural) so that Peter’s shadow just had to  touch the sick and they would be healed. The saints had also been transformed so that  many sold everything and shared the wealth equitably amongst the newly established church. However, Ananias and Sapphira sold a block of land and held-back some of the  money for themselves. Nothing wrong with that but they tried to deceive the disciples  by saying they had given all the moneys. Peter in the power of the Spirit discerned their  deception and due to the presence of God’s glory immediate judgment followed and they lost their lives. Deception veils the heart and obstructs truth (James 1:22). In God’s  eyes partial or selective obedience is rebellion to His glory.

TODAY

Background:

Is the church ready for the glorious return of Christ? Are there forerunners who prepare the way of the Lord and awaken people (through understanding and removing obstacles due to ignorance; Isaiah 40:3-5) to the coming glory of Jesus’ return but we fail to listen with the eyes of our heart. Malachi prophesied that in the last days God would send prophets to prepare His people for His glory (Malachi 3:1-2; 18). Do we simply put this message aside as simply new knowledge? Could the current state of the church be described in Jeremiah 5:30-31? Are we neglecting our responsibilities like King David?

Divine order:

I believe there are forerunners who believe we are in the period preparing for the return of Christ. I believe God is establishing His divine order. The Global Prayer Movement (Malachi 1:11) is evidence of God’s divine order in process. In the late 1990’s Mike Bickle estimates there were approximately 10-20 Houses of Prayer in the world now there are over 10,000 houses of prayer worldwide. Additionally, God is training the saints as part of His divine order. Training is God’s divine order to restore the heart of believers. I believe He is calling us to partner with Him in His strategic plan (the Gospel of the Kingdom); He is changing the expression of our Christianity (God has taught me and my wife many new elements of our Christian faith) and training us for our assignments as intercessors, watchmen and forerunners (we had little understanding of these assignments and had neglected these responsibilities).

Glory revealed:

God has promised that He will reveal His glory in the last days (Acts 2:17). He has promised that His glory will be greater than that released when He established His church. Are we ready for the glory of God to be released?

Blessings/judgment:

In the time before Jesus’ return there will be a great harvest and a great falling away. If the glory is greater will the immediate judgment be greater? I’m asking God to prepare my heart for the fear of the Lord so I can be on the right side of God’s glory when He is revealed. We can learn many principles from the examples in scripture. Time to prepare.

Why does God test us? So that He can see what is in our hearts? God already knows what is in our hearts. God tests us so that WE CAN SEE what is in our hearts. We may be able to hide sin at a healing ministry, however, we cannot hide sin when God’s glory is released into the natural world (John Bevere).

Written by John and Shirley Ray, edited and posted by Joel Ratcliffe

Photo by gaspar zaldo from Pexels

SUGGESTED READING LIST

  1. Understanding the Fear of the Lord              Derek Prince (online pdf)
  2. The Fear of the Lord                                       John Bevere

2 thoughts on “The Fear of the Lord (part 2)”

  1. Thanks for the great post on the Fear of the Lord and Divine Order. The diagram was really great also! Of course the fear of the Lord is just the beginning of wisdom. We all need to understand and appropriate this truth in a world where there is no truth or wisdom.

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  2. Much food for thought here. I have been dwelling on the thought of the fear of the Lord – so wanting to come into divine order myself; have come under so much correction lately and I presume this won’t stop. Touches of His glory are so worth studying to find where we might be missing it. Appreciate you guys.

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