Sunday, 10 March 2013
There is no fear of God before their eyes. Romans 3:18
This is the final quote in this train of thought and is taken from Psalm 36:1 –
An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes.
“Fear of God” is speaking of awe and reverence. When we have these it will bring about an understanding of our own fallen nature in relation to God. Time and again in Scripture, when one is brought close to God the person finds himself overwhelmed at the majesty of His presence. Such is the case in Isaiah 6. When Isaiah had a vision of the Lord, he cried out –
“Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”
One of Israel’s holy men stood in awe at what he witnessed, but the people Paul is speaking about shun the glory of God and in their hearts there is only contempt for Him. These past quotes from the Old Testament show us several things. First, the Jew cannot hope to be saved simply because of their heritage. Their own word testifies against them. Paul spoke about this in detail and then provided these quotes, directly from their own sacred writings, to show this is true.
Secondly, what these verses show us is the character of human nature in general, not specifically any given man. They are a broad brushstroke of how humanity is displayed from the creation until today. There was the flood to correct it. There was the cleansing of the land of Canaan by the Israelites to correct it. There was the purging of Israel from their land (twice) to correct it. And there will be the tribulation period of the future to once again destroy wickedness. Humanity, when left to his own devices will shun God and choose the path of destruction.
Third, the corruption of man proceeds from the innermost depths of who he is and it proceeds outward in a vile display of how he presents himself. This is symbolized by the mentioning of the parts in order – throat, tongue, lips, mouth, and then feet. The corruption spreads outward and is carried far and wide.
When man forgets God and sets his feet on an evil path, only wickedness can follow. This is so, so very important to remember because as a nation, the United States has set its feet upon this course. We have condoned that which is forbidden; we have spoken that which is vile; we have spread that which is wicked; and we have lost our fear of God. Unless the people return to the Bible as its source for instruction and guidance, we will come under God’s continued hand of chastisement, eventually leading to destruction. It is the church which must lead the way in this endeavor.
Life application: When the fear of God is lost, only unrighteousness can follow. We must stand up for what is right and not allow ourselves to be caught up in the eddy of moral degradation which surrounds us. Stand firm on the tenets in the Bible and be ready to defend them above all else. There is one standard by which we will right the wrongs around us and it is found there.
O God, please renew in me a reverent fear of who You are and the glory You possess. Forgive me for not treating Your name in a manner which will magnify You. Help me to be a light and a guide to others so that they will see You for who You truly are – the One worthy of all our praise, honor, and devotion. Amen.