When you look at the disintegration of marriages, homes, families, relationships, morals, and society in general, do you wonder what is happening? Do you wonder why godly life principles, a sense of honor and moral restraint, graciousness, and propriety are slipping away?
Why has school, work, getting married, being a wife and mother, a husband and a breadwinner taken on such an atmosphere of anxiety? Why is there stress rather than joy? Why have people in general become so narrow-mindedly "me" centered? Why are we so broadly tolerant that whatever others think, we accept it as right? Why is our society made up of so many frustrated, unrestrained individualists who put self before others?
Have you considered it might be because we have lost our sense of the fear of God?
Romans 3:11-18 describes what happens when people lose their reverential trust and awesome respect for God. It describes what happens when a generation is raised apart from a biblical knowledge of God.
Read the scripture for yourself, dear friend, and see what you think!
11 There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one."
13 "Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,"
"The poison of asps is under their lips";
14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness";
15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood,
16 Destruction and misery are in their paths,
17 And the path of peace have they not known."
18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
The passage you've just read is the self-portrait of a person who does not acknowledge the God of the Bible. It is the epitome of someone who walks according to his or her own understanding - dictated by his or her own desires, making decisions according to personal criteria that ignores God and His Word.
This is why those who claim to know God and are raised in the church can rationalize their unbiblical behavior. The world dictates their morals and their values. This is why some men tell their wives to submit, but don't love them as Christ loves the church; why they neglect their families; why women put their careers and self-development before their God-ordained, biblically-prescribed roles as wives and mothers; why spouses walk out because they are no longer in love; why divorces are rationalized; why people live together and sleep together before they are married; why sin is so readily excused among leaders of our nation.
What happens when the Ten Commandments disappear from public places, when prayer is removed from schools, when you raise a generation that does not know God and is not parented and . . . "every man [does] what [is] right in his own eyes"?
Pick up almost any newspaper or magazine. Read what's written and pictured on the cover. The Internet, television, Hollywood - it's so polluted. Are we a society that fears God?
You and I desperately need to know what the Lord abhors and what the Lord approves of - and the consequences of not living accordingly.
Abraham feared for his life," 'Because I thought, surely there is no fear of God in this place . . .' " (Genesis 20:11 NAS).
In a sense, you and I need to do the same.
We need to do everything we can, dear one, to instill - first in our own lives, in the lives of our children, our families, our churches, and then in our society - a biblical knowledge of God.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge" (Proverbs 1:7).
Knowledge begins with information but goes beyond to wisdom - the "know how" to apply information to the everyday situations of life. Thus the book of Proverbs tells us 9:10 that "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."
There is no better time than now to discipline ourselves anew for the purpose of godliness; to set schedules, to order our days, to stop and think about our future and where we want to be - and where we want our children to be - a year, two years from now.
O Beloved, let's do as God instructs us, consciously redeem the time because the "days are evil."
If you want children who will someday rise up and call you blessed, rather than rebuking you for not warning them, then you must teach a life lived and ordered by "the fear of the Lord."
Look at Psalm 31:19: "How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You."
Take note. God's goodness is only for those who fear Him. And to fear Him is to have an awesome respect of God and a reverential trust for Him.
Do you fear the Lord, Beloved?
If this is your desire, please know we are here for you. We have all sorts of ways to help you and your family to know God and His Word for yourselves.
Host, Precepts For Life
Co-CEO, Precept Ministries International
Publication date: April 28, 2010