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Living in the Fear of God - Life of Moses Part 5

So What? / Lon Solomon
The Truth Network Radio
May 2, 2024 7:00 am

Living in the Fear of God - Life of Moses Part 5

So What? / Lon Solomon

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Well you know I went to high school in at Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth Virginia between the years of 1962 and 1966 and one of the teachers there who made the largest impact on my life was my chemistry teacher named Mrs. Hinton. Now Mrs. Hinton had a favorite saying that she used to use all the time. She used to say a word to the wise is sufficient. A fool needs to be wrapped on the head and for some strange reason she used to always say that to me.

I could never figure it out in high school. Well anyway I did do some pretty foolish things in my younger life and that's why when I gave my life to Jesus Christ at the age of 22, 1971 I'll save you the trouble I'm 57, I was tired of constantly getting wrapped on the head and I knew that I needed to become a wiser person and so as a brand new follower of Christ reading the Bible I came across an incredible verse that spoke to this need in my life. It's Proverbs chapter 1 verse 7 and here's what it says. It says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and when I read that I thought wow if the fear of the Lord is where wisdom starts then I better learn what it means to really fear the Lord in my life and that's what we want to talk about this morning.

We want to talk about the fear of God, what that really means and how that really relates to your life today as well as mine here in the 21st century as followers of Christ and all of this grows out of our study in the life of the great man of God Moses here in the book of Exodus. So if you brought your Bible today I want to ask you to open with me to Exodus chapter 1. Exodus chapter 1 second book in the Bible and if you did not bring a Bible reach right under the armrest in the seat next to you and you'll find a copy of the Bible. We're going to be on page 40.

Page 40 in our copy. Exodus 1 in your copy and as you're turning let me give you a little bit of background. In Exodus chapter 1 verse 8 the Bible says that a new king came to power in Egypt who did not know Joseph and we identified this king as King Thutmose I who ruled from 1530 to 1517 BC. The Israelites at this point had grown into a massive nation and Thutmose was worried about the Israelites mutineering and joining some invading army against the Egyptians and so here in Exodus chapter 1 he sets out to reduce the population of the Hebrews. He tried to do it first by subjecting them to rigorous labor but Exodus 1 12 says that the more the Egyptians afflicted them the more the Israelites multiply. So now he has to go to another strategy plan B if you will and that is namely systematic infanticide and that's what we see beginning in verse 15.

Let's look together. The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives when you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool if it is a boy kill him but if it is a girl let her live. Now the Greek historian Plutarch tells us that many nations in ancient times had obstetrical training institutes for their people and so it only makes sense here it seems logical that these two midwives that Pharaoh called in and gave this order to were probably the chief training midwives for the Israelite people the leaders who were training everybody else and he commanded these midwives to see to it that every male child born to a Hebrew mother was killed.

In other words Thutmose commanded these ladies to carry out deliberate premeditated cold-blooded infanticide but his real goal of course was the total annihilation eventually of the Jewish people. Verse 17 and the midwives however feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do instead they let the boys live. Now notice why the midwives acted the way they did. Verse 17 says they feared God more on that later. Verse 18 then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them why have you done this?

Why have you let the boys live? Verse 19 and the midwives answered and said well Pharaoh you don't understand Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women they are vigorous and they give birth before we as the midwives even get there. Verse 20 so God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and they became even more numerous and because the midwives feared God he gave them families of their own. Verse 22 then Pharaoh had to go now to plan C. Plan B didn't work so now he reverts to plan C and that is Pharaoh gave this order to all of his people every Hebrew boy that is born you must throw into the Nile but let every girl live. In a sweeping decree Pharaoh authorizes each and every Egyptian citizen to kill each and every Hebrew baby boy they ever find and to do it as a matter of civic duty. Now certainly let's stop for a moment and say we can look behind the scenes here and we can see the hand of Satan at work in all of this. Friends by trying to eliminate the Jewish people and using Thutmose to carry out that plan what Satan was really trying to do was thwart the plan of God for salvation God's plan of salvation for the human race.

You say I don't understand how I don't know how is that connected. Well think if there's no Jewish people anymore it means there's never going to be a King David. If there's never going to be a King David there's never going to be a Davidic line. If there's not going to be a Davidic line then there can't be a Messiah to come from the Davidic line and if there's no Messiah there's no cross there's no resurrection there's no redemption of the human race. Now by God's grace Thutmose failed but friends nonetheless I am certain that during these years many a Hebrew baby boy went to an early grave in the Nile River because of the attempts of Thutmose to wipe out the Jewish people and so this is the situation in Egypt when our friend Moses is born.

It's open season if you will on Hebrew baby boys in Egypt and that forms the foundation for the events of Exodus chapter 2 which we're going to study next week. But we want to stop right now that's as far as we want to go in the passage today we want to stop right now and ask a very important question. Just before we do that however let me say that if you're here today and you've never trusted Jesus Christ in a real and personal way I got great news for you. Thutmose has failed to wipe out the Jewish people so there was a King David there was a Davidic line there was a Messiah there was a cross there was a resurrection and there is a redemption available for the human race that's the great news of the Bible. The redemption of the human race is found in what Jesus Christ did for each one of us on the cross shedding his blood as the sinless Son of God to pay for our sin and if you're here today and you've never appropriated his payment for sin in your life then I'm here to tell you that God went to extraordinary lengths to make sure that that payment for sin was available to you and you would be a wise person to take advantage of it. God made one way to get redemption one way to get eternal life and folks he's not going to change that for you me or anybody else so I hope that you'll take advantage of the one way that he went to a lot of trouble to make sure you have at your disposal. Now let's ask our one question that's so important are we all ready? A couple of us are ready okay that's good we all ready here we go one two three yeah you say Lord so what say you know I feel sorry for those Hebrew baby boys and all that stuff but what difference does any of this make to my life well let's see if we can connect those dots for you you know we saw earlier that the Hebrew midwives refused to obey Pharaoh for one simple reason verse 17 said they feared God now the Bible if you go if you go through the Bible with a concordance you will find that the Bible has an enormous amount to say about the fear of God let me give you just a small sampling for Psalm 128 verse 1 says blessed is every person who fears the Lord Psalm 33 verse 18 the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him a Psalm 103 verse 13 as a father has compassion on his children so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him Proverbs 14 verse 27 the fear of the Lord is a fountain of life Proverbs 22 for humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life Psalm 25 verse 14 the Lord confides in those who fear him and makes himself known to them in Deuteronomy chapter 5 God was speaking to Moses about the Hebrew people and he said oh that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep my commandments that it might go well with them and their children forever Jesus himself said Luke chapter 12 verse 4 he said I tell you do not fear those who kill the body but after that they can do no more but I will tell you whom you should fear Jesus said fear him who after the killing of the body has the power to throw you into hell meaning God yes I tell you Jesus said fear him and finally King Solomon in Ecclesiastes chapter 12 says now all has been heard and here is the conclusion of the matter fear God and keep his commandments for this is the whole duty of man now you might say okay Lon stop stop stop stop time out stop stop okay you made your point you made your point that I as a follower of Jesus Christ need to fear God but I need your help because I'm not sure I understand what this means Lon I mean can you put handles on this for me can you practically explain to me what it means to fear God well yes I can and I'm gonna do that right now fearing God is a truth that's like a three-legged stool there are three legs that support the fear of God that practically define it in our lives and I want to tell you what they are leg number one when it comes to fearing God leg number one of the stool is respecting God's character revering God's person standing in awe of who God is Isaiah chapter 8 verse 13 says regard regard the Lord Almighty as holy and fear him in other words Isaiah is saying that fearing God is an outgrowth of respecting God revering God reverencing God for the holy and awesome being that he is Isaiah says because God is who he is because of the moral authority that his holiness gives him because of the exalted position to which his power entitles him because of the affection and the gratitude that his compassion has earned for him because God is who God is he commands a reverential awe and respect that no other being in the universe commands and folks this reverential awe and respect is what lies at the heart of the fear of God you know on the national prayer breakfast as you know is held here in Washington DC every year in February and I've had the privilege to be invited almost every year there have been some pretty amazing moments over the years that have happened at the National Prayer Breakfast I remember in 1982 sitting there and listening as President Ronald Reagan described with tears the assassination attempt the year before by John Hinckley and what God had done in his life as a result of that it was an amazing moment I'll never forget but you know I think the most amazing moment of all time at the National Prayer Breakfast came in 1994 when Mother Teresa was there and spoke Bill and Hillary Clinton were sitting on the head table right next to her Vice President Gore and his wife were sitting there right next to her and little Mother Teresa came out from behind the curtain and here's part of what she said standing there between the president and the Vice President of the United States she said and I quote but I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion abortion is murder by the mother herself by abortion the mother kills her own child to solve her problem and by abortion the father is taught that he does not have to take responsibility for the child he has brought into the world so that father is likely to put other women into the same trouble so abortion just leads to more abortion Mother Teresa continued any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love one another but to use violence to get what they want this is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion and when she said this applause began slowly and then in a raucous way to spread throughout that whole audience except that Bill and Hillary Clinton were not applauding and Vice President Gore and his wife were not applauding they were sitting there motionless pale with all the blood out of their face in reverential awe of Mother Teresa and yet they did not stand and walk out nor did they in any way try to interfere with that lady and I said to myself how did this woman just do this how did this little tiny lady walk up there on stage and how did she hold the two most powerful men in the world captive to a moral position that everything in those men disagreed with how did she do that well I'll tell you how the answer is that Mother Teresa's character demanded for her a reverential awe of respect a moral authority that no one in that room was willing to challenge not even the president of the United States himself and friends this is how it ought to be with us and Almighty God except to a much higher level this is this kind of respect it's this kind of reverential all that lies at the heart of the fear of God now the second leg of the fear of God is not just having a reverential offer him but also obeying God's wishes you know Abraham was a hundred years old when God finally gave him a child through his wife Sarah a young man named Isaac and Isaac became the apple of Abraham's eye Genesis 22 verse 1 sometime later God tested Abraham God said take your son Isaac whom you love to Mount Moriah and sacrifice him there as a burnt offering to me now as weird as that must have seemed to Abraham Abraham did it Genesis 22 verse 9 and when they reached the place God had told him about Abraham built an altar there and he arranged the wood on it then he bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar and he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son I'm convinced Abraham would have done it except that verse 11 says the angel of the Lord called out to Abraham from heaven and said Abraham Abraham do not lay a hand on the boy or do anything to him watch now I know now the angel says that you fear God because you have not withheld from me your one and only son Isaac how did the angel know that Abraham feared God very simply friends because Abraham was willing to obey God that's how we knew and the point is that fearing God and obeying God are inseparably linked together that's why in Deuteronomy 5 which we read earlier God said to Moses oh that the Israelites hearts would be inclined to fear me watch and keep my commandments Ecclesiastes 12 Solomon said here's the conclusion of the matter fear God and keep his commandments psalm 111 verse 10 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom a good understanding have all those who do his commandments folks can't you see that fearing God and obeying God they go together like the Lone Ranger and Tonto they go together like peanut butter and jelly they go together like ham and cheese they go together like lox and bagels they go together like donuts and coffee and policemen they just go together fearing God means that not only do we stand in reverential awe of God's greatness and holiness but it also means that we have a non-negotiable priority in our life and that non-negotiable priority is obeying God third and final leg is being afraid of God being afraid of his discipline afraid of his anger if we disobey God you know I have the wonderful privilege of raising three boys they're all adults now I'll show you a picture of them but they when they were younger when they were little guys we had a very clear understanding in my house and that understanding went something like this all three of my boys knew that they could depend on me to be loving to be kind to be generous to be understanding to be compassionate to be supportive to be benevolent and beneficent and magnanimous but they also knew that if they disobeyed me if they stepped across the line they were going to pay the price and they did pay the price many many times they paid the price you see it would have been wonderful if my boys would have agreed to obey me for the simple reason that they loved me and because they had affection for me and they were so appreciative for all that I was doing it would have been wonderful if that had been motivation enough but I wasn't stupid I knew that wasn't gonna be because I was a boy and I understood and so I added an additional motivation to help my boys and that is they knew if they stepped across the line they better watch out for me now I didn't do that because I had a power trip going on I did it because I had drawn the lines in their lives very carefully for their own welfare I had drawn the lines in their lives for their own protection and their own well-being and I knew when they stepped over those lines they were endangering themselves putting themselves in harm's way and as their father who loved them I had a responsibility to try to keep them from doing that and so they paid the price when they stepped over the line because I didn't want them stepping over the line for their own good now that might not have been dr. Spock's way but that was dr. Solomon's way you understand what I'm saying and you know what friends when it comes to us and the Lord Jesus God's just like that I learned to do this by reading the Bible I was just trying to copy God's way of raising children you know God says to us as his children as followers of Christ I'd like for you to obey me for the simple reason that you love me and that you're loyal to me and out of appreciation for all that I've done for you but God says I'm not stupid and I realize that may not be enough motivation for some of you so therefore I'll add an additional motivation and that is you step over the line you better watch out for me you know in the book of Deuteronomy in the first 28 chapters God says over and over and over through Moses Moses tell the people to obey me because they love me and then in chapter 28 God gives 53 verses of curses to tell the people if you don't obey me this is what gonna happen to you friends God has that balance where he says obey me because you love me but just in case that's not enough watch out for me if you don't many of you know that I came from a very tough background sinfully speaking when I met Jesus Christ in 1971 however by God's grace I was able to make a clean break with all of that background with the dope with the alcohol abuse with the sexual impurity with the terrible potty mouth that I used to have with the profane lifestyle that I live and I've never gone back to that stuff thank God in 35 years now I'd like to stand up here and tell you that the reason I was able to make that break and what has kept me away from ever going back over the last 35 years is that I love Jesus so much and I'm so grateful for what he did to me that it would never even occur to me to go back I would like to tell you that but that's not entirely true what has also been an enormous motivator in my life not to go back is that I am scared to death about what God would do to me if I did go back I have been scared to death for 35 years of that and I'm still scared to death of that as I stand here today and that has been a constructive force in my life that has been a clean and healing force in my life to be afraid of God's discipline I'm not afraid of losing my salvation I can't lose my salvation and I know it but I am afraid of God pulling out the paddle on me as his child if I go back and do some of that and that's been a good thing in my life and you know what there are lots of preachers out there today who will tell you that as followers of Christ God doesn't want us to fear him God just wants us to love him and revere him well friends I don't buy that I don't buy that at all I believe the Bible teaches that God does want us to fear him as his children if we step over the lines that he's drawn for us he wants us to fear his discipline he wants us to be afraid of his anger with us and that that is meant to be a protective force in our life just like I meant it to be in my children's lives that's why the Bible says Hebrews 12 verse 28 let us worship God acceptably with reverence and fear for our God is a consuming fire that's why the book of Hebrews says chapter 10 verse 31 it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God well I I believe that's true and you know what it's helped keep me clean this is why the Bible says Proverbs chapter 16 verse 6 by the fear of the Lord a man stays away from evil and that's my testimony to you here this morning so let's summarize what does it mean to fear God number one it means respecting God's character standing in reverential awe of his holiness in person number two it means obeying God's wishes making obedience to God a non-negotiable priority in our lives and number three it means being afraid of God's discipline as his children if we step over the line and disobey him and you might say well Lon I understand that how can I increase the fear of God in my life well that's a great question and friends here's the answer if the fear of God is based on respecting God's character and obeying God's wishes and being afraid of God's discipline then it only stands to reason that the more we know about God's character the more we understand about God's wishes the more we see how God's discipline works in action the more fear of God we ought to have right and where do we see those things and learn those things and understand those things we learn them see them and understand them right here in the Word of God friends if you want your fear of God to increase then you let your time of study and meditation in the Word of God increase you learn who God is better learn what his wishes are better watch and see what he did to people who stepped over the lines better and I promise you your fear of God will go up how much we fear God and how much we read and study the Word of God are directly proportional and if you feel the fear of God in your life is too small that I can promise you one of the reasons is because your time in the Word of God is too small well let's conclude it's interesting that David wrote a prayer in the Bible that goes like this Psalm 1913 Lord he said keep me away from presumptuous sins that's an interesting prayer keep me away from presumptuous sins and why did David say this well David said this because he had learned about the price of presumptuous sin when he did what he did with Bathsheba see I believe David walked out on the rooftop that night and he looked over Bathsheba and he went wow and I he knew it was wrong what he was contemplating but he presumed on God's mercy he presumed on God's forgiveness he presumed on God's compassion he said hey I'm the apple of God's eyes what it says in the Bible hey I'm the man after God's own heart what it says in the Bible I can go do this and you know what God is a loving and merciful God and we'll just forgive me well you know what he didn't just forgive him he did forgive David God did forgive him but David paid for that sin for the rest of his life and David said you know what I learned something Lord keep me away from presumptuous sins like that folks it's when we lose our righteous fear of God it's when we as followers of Christ begin to presume on God's goodness and his forgiveness and his mercy that we get ourselves in a pack of trouble and among followers of Jesus Christ today I just need to tell you my observation is that spiritual presumption today in the church is that epidemic proportions and that comes from televangelists and all these theologically ignorant preachers who get up there and preach about a God that the Bible knows absolutely nothing about I'm here to tell you I see the results of that every Tuesday afternoon in my office men and women and young people coming in who presumed on God's mercy who have failed to be properly afraid of his discipline and his anger and his holiness and who have totally messed up their lives and are picking up the pieces like David did friends I'm here to encourage you as we close don't do that I'm here to exhort you as we close don't be like that learn from the mistake of David that's why he wrote Psalm 19 and said learn from me don't commit presumptuous sin fear God respect his holiness make obedience a priority in your life and live in fear of the discipline that he will invoke on you as a follower of Christ when you deliberately step over the line remember what mrs. Hinton said she said a word to the wise is sufficient I hope it has been today a fool needs to be wrapped on the head friends please I urge you don't be fools be wise people and live in the fear of God let's pray Lord Jesus thank you for reminding us today of what it really means to fear you Lord you are a consuming fire it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God and and yes you have created for us in Jesus Christ a place of mercy a place of compassion a place of forgiveness a place of benevolence and Lord we are so grateful for that but granted we never presume on that dear father grant that we never lose our righteous fear of who you are as the holy God of this universe and may our being here today change the way we live may it change the choices that we make what may we make those choices soberly and carefully in the fear of God Lord change our lives because of our contact with the Word of God here today and may people around us see that change and be drawn to Christ and we pray this in Jesus name and God's people said amen you
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-02 08:31:32 / 2024-05-02 08:42:05 / 11

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