BLESSINGS AND JUDGMENTS
Corrie Ten Boom tells of a man who acted on the protection of the Most High! (Ps 91) He was an Englishman in WWII who was held in a German prison camp. While he was there he came to know the Lord. One day he read Psalm 91, and prayed something like this… “Father in heaven, I see people dying around me, one after the other. Will I also have to die here? I’m young, and would like to work in Your kingdom here on earth.” He received this answer from the Lord — “Rely on what you have just read, and go home!” Trustingly, he got up and walked into the corridor toward the gate. A guard called out, “Prisoner, where are you going?” “I am under the protection of the Most High” he replied. Amazingly, the guard came to attention and let him pass, (Adolf Hitler was known as “the Most High” 🙂 … He came to the gate where a group of guards stood. They commanded him to stop, and asked where he was going. Again he replied, “I am under the protection of the Most High”. All the guards stood at attention as he continued to walk out the gate, made it through the German countryside, eventually reached England, and told them the story of how he had made his escape. Reportedly, he was the only one to come out of that prison alive!” (1)
That is one of many more stories and testimonies that show the Lord’s faithfulness to His promised blessings when we trust Him, in response to our prayers!
THE WORLD EVERYWHERE IS LACKING IN THE “FEAR OF GOD”
One of the primary reasons so much of the world is in the kind of mess it’s in today is because of a LACK OF THE FEAR OF THE LORD! The LACK OF THE FEAR OF THE LORD is bringing big problems, worldwide!
WHAT IT MEANS TO “FEAR GOD”
A proper and awesome reverence and respect towards God, knowing that He rewards the obedient, and punishes the disobedient.
Godly fear is not torment, but a holy reverence for God, knowing that He is totally righteous, and full of mercy and truth! It is an appreciation for Him and all of His glorious and holy attributes.
Proverbs 8:13 – The FEAR OF THE LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way, and the perverse mouth I hate.” (WISDOM)
2 KINDS OF FEAR
It is not so much being scared, frightened, and terrified of God. God does not give us the SPIRIT OF FEAR (2 Timothy 1:7). However, He does want us to be reverent and respectful.
He is AWESOME! He is to be revered! (Not everything goes with Him. There are resulting consequences for our words and actions.)
Psalm 4:4 – STAND IN AWE, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. (Tremble in AWE before the Lord, and Do not sin against HIM -TPT)
ONLY FEAR THE LORD
Isaiah 8:10-14 …13) DO NOT FEAR ANYTHING EXCEPT THE LORD ALMIGHTY. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear Him, you need fear nothing else. 14) HE WILL KEEP YOU SAFE…
THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS PART OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE
Revelation 14:6-7 – I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the EVERLASTING GOSPEL to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, FEAR GOD, and give glory to him; for the hour of his JUDGMENT is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
GOD IS SOVEREIGN! HE IS OUR CREATOR! HE IS TO BE REVERED!
The SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD refers to His dominant power or SUPREME AUTHORITY. The Sovereign is the one who exercises power without limitation. It often describes someone who has supreme power or authority. They have power over themselves. Their government is under their own control…
FEARING GOD IS OUR DUTY — IT IS A REQUIREMENT
Ecclesiastes 12:13 – Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: FEAR GOD and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Special note: When it is all said and done, what do you want to be known for? Do you want to be know as a GOD-FEARING person, before God and men?
I Peter 2:17 – … FEAR GOD! (It is a commandment!)
Deuteronomy 10:12-13 – And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God REQUIRE of you, but to FEAR THE LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him…
THE FEAR OF GOD IS TO BE WORLD-WIDE
Psalm 33:8 – Let all the earth FEAR THE LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
WHEN WE FEAR GOD IT BRINGS HIM PLEASURE
Psalm 147:11– The Lord takes pleasure in those who FEAR HIM, in those who hope in His mercy.
IT IS A CHOICE
Joshua 24:14-15 – 14 “Now therefore, FEAR THE LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served… Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, CHOOSE for yourselves this day whom you will serve,… as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Proverbs 1:7, 28-30 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction… Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me — Because they hated knowledge
And DID NOT choose the FEAR THE LORD. They would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke.
BLESSINGS AND JUDGMENTS
BLESSINGS – God wants us to FEAR THE LORD, and He promises us that if we do, His blessings will rest upon us! The abundant blessings we desire and talk about are connected with, and dependent upon living in the FEAR OF GOD! So many want all of God’s blessings. We need to determine to live in THE FEAR OF THE LORD all the days of our life, if we want to enjoy HIs blessings!
CURSES – Those who do NOT FEAR THE LORD will be in torment and not experience the Lord’s abundant blessings!
YOU ARE BLESSED WHEN YOU FEAR GOD!
Following are some of the many Scriptural reasons why we need to FEAR GOD…
Psalm 115:12-13 – The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us; …13 He will bless those who FEAR THE LORD, both small and great.
Psalm 112:1 – Blessed are those who FEAR THE LORD, who find great delight in his commands.
Psalms 128:1 – Blessed are all who FEAR THE LORD, who walk in obedience to him.
Deuteronomy 6:24 – And the Lord our God commanded us to obey all these decrees and to FEAR HIM so he can CONTINUE TO BLESS US and preserve our lives, as he has done to this day.
THE BLESSINGS OF WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE
Job 28:28 – …‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.’ ”
Psalm 111:10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments.
Proverbs 9:10 – “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
IT BRINGS RICHES, HONOR AND LONG LIFE
Psalm 15:4 – …but HONORS those who FEAR THE LORD; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind.
Proverbs 19:23 – The FEAR OF THE LORD leads to LIFE; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.
Proverbs 10:27 (Deuteronomy 6:24) – The FEAR OF THE LORD adds length to life, BUT the years of the wicked are cut short
Proverbs 22:4 – Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are RICHES and HONOR and LIFE.
THINGS GO WELL FOR the FAMILY
Deuteronomy 5:29 – O that there were such an heart in them, that they would FEAR ME, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever!
Special note: It is not only for our good, that things would go well with us personally, but for the good of our children and future generations as well!
Luke 1:50 – And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
IT brings SPIRITUAL CLEANSING
Psalm 19:9 – The FEAR OF THE LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
IT BRINGS GUIDANCE, INSTRUCTION AND PROSPERITY
Psalm 25:12-14 – Who are those who FEAR THE LORD? He will show them the path they should choose. 13 They will live in prosperity,
and their children will inherit the land. 14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.
Special note: How are we willing to show True friendship to the Lord? Jesus said, “you are my friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14)
THE BLESSING OF PROTECTION
Proverbs 14:26 – Those who FEAR THE LORD are SECURE; he will be a REFUGE for their children.
Proverbs 19:23 – FEAR OF THE LORD leads to life, bringing SECURITY and PROTECTION from harm.
THE BLESSINGs OF GOD’S FAITHFUL PROVISION
Psalm 34:9 – FEAR THE LORD, you his godly people, for those who fear him WILL HAVE all they need.
Special note: He is more than enough. He is EL-SHADDAI – God Almighty and the God of plenty! He is Jehovah-jireh – the Lord our Provider. Remember how the Lord faithfully provided a ram for Abraham when Isaac was about to be offered as a sacrifice, and take heart! (Genesis 22:13,14)
Psalm 111:5 – He PROVIDES food for those who FEAR HIM; he remembers his covenant forever.
Special note: These days with pending food shortages anticipated world-wide, let’s remember that the Lord is our source of provision for food.
Example: Elisha and the widow’s oil.
2 Kings 4:1 – One day the widow of a member of the group of prophets came to Elisha and cried out, “My husband who served you is dead, and you know HOW HE FEARED THE LORD. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves.”
Elisha responded by telling her to gather lots of empty vessels. The Lord miraculously provided for the widow’s needs! He is the same God that we serve. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He can and will provide for us, too!
Let’s not worry about where our next meal will come from. Let’s trust the Lord!
George Mueller was a mighty man of faith. He saw the Lord miraculously provide for the orphans under his care many times. In his book he gives testimony of a time when he had gathered the children to the table, not knowing where the food was going to come from. There was a timely knock at the door. A faithful servant of the Lord came whom the Lord had instructed to come and bring food for the children! What a timely, and miraculous provision, in answer to their prayers!
Those are a few of the many amazing, miraculous stories of God’s faithful provision. Jesus multiplied food for the multitudes over and over…
IT HELPS US TO SERVE THE LORD ACCEPTABLY
Joshua 24:14 – …fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served…
Romans 12:1-2 – I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
SERVE THE LORD FAITHFULLY! Let’s determine to faithfully serve the Lord all the days of our life – NO TURNING BACK!
Scripture song: “I have decided to follow Jesus —- NO TURNING BACK!“
2 Peter 2:20-22 – …if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
2 Peter 3:16-19 – … beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Romans 3:18 – (The unrighteous/sinners) — “There is NO FEAR OF GOD before their eyes.”
Psalm 1:4-6 – (vs 1-3 –blessings upon the godly)… 4 The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the JUDGMENT, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Romans 1:18-25 – For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened…Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things…who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the CREATOR…
Hebrews 10:26-31 – if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain FEARFUL expectation of JUDGMENT, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will JUDGEHis people.” 31 It is a FEARFUL THING to fall into the hands of the living God.
Just as truly as God’s blessings are poured out upon those who FEAR HIM, His judgments are poured out upon those who DO NOT FEAR HIM!
Hebrews 6:1-2 – Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Special note: The DOCTRINE OF ETERNAL JUDGMENT is a basic, foundational doctrine of the church.
JUDGMENT IS COMING
Hebrews 9:27 – …it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the JUDGMENT (after this comes certain JUDGMENT – AMP)
I Peter 1:16-19 – For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” •17 And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will JUDGE or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in REVERENT FEAR OF HIM (profound respect -AMP) during your time here as “temporary residents.” •18 For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. 19 It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.
2 Corinthians 5:10 – For we must all stand before Christ to be JUDGED. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.
Revelation 15:1-4 – …the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. •2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name… 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: “Great and marvelous are Your works, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY! Just and true are Your ways, O KING of the saints! Who shall not FEAR YOU, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for YOUR JUDGMENTS have been manifested.”
2 Peter 3:3-7,9-14 – knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;…
Jude 22-23 – …on some have compassion, making a distinction; 23 but others SAVE WITH FEAR, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
Psalms 19:8-10 – The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;. The FEAR OF THE LORD is clean, enduring forever; The JUDGEMENTS of the Lord are true and righteous altogether..More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.
Malachi 3:5 – And I will come near you for JUDGMENT; I will be a swift witness Against sorcerers, Against adulterers, Against perjurers, Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans, and against those who turn away an alien— Because they DO NOT FEAR ME,” says the Lord of hosts.
2 Kings 17:6-8,25,28 – In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria took Samaria and carried Israel away to Assyria… For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and they had feared other gods, And had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made… 25 And it was so, at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they did NOT FEAR THE LORD; therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them… 28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should FEAR THE LORD.
2 Kings 17:32-39 – They FEARED THE LORD, yet served their own gods – according to the rituals of the nations from among whom they were carried away.
Special note: The Lord is not pleased with half-heartedness. He wants us to FEAR HIM with our whole heart! Sometimes people think they can serve God and other gods at the same time, and get by with it! God sees and knows our hearts!
NEBUCHANEZZAR’S IMPORTANT LESSON
In the 4th chapter of the book of Daniel, we read about a humbling lesson the Lord taught one of the most powerful kings of all time. Nebuchadnezzar came to find out that he wasn’t such a hot-shot after all, his pride was humbled before Almighty God, and he came to rightfully FEAR GOD, and acknowledge the Lord’s place of sovereignty and supremacy.
Daniel 4:17 – “‘The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of people.’
King Nebuchanezar was disposed and dethroned of his kingly reign, until he came to his proper senses, and was willing to praise and exalt the Lord and give Him glory and honor.
Daniel 4:34 – And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation.35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” 36 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor and splendor returned to me. My counselors and nobles resorted to me, I was restored to my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice (everything he does is right and all. Those who walk in pride He is able to put down (humble).
THE FEAR OF THE LORD KEEPS PEOPLE FROM SINNING!
Exodus 20:18-20 – …Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.”
Psalm 119:120 – My flesh trembles for FEAR OF YOU, and I am afraid of Your JUDGMENTS.
2 Chronicles 19:6-10 – …and he said to them, “Always think carefully before pronouncing JUDGMENT. Remember that you do not JUDGE to please people but to please the Lord. He will be with you when you render the verdict in each case. 7 FEAR THE LORD and JUDGE with integrity, for the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes.” 8 In Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites and priests and clan leaders in Israel to serve as judges for cases involving the Lord’s regulations and for civil disputes. 9 These were his instructions to them: “You must always act in the fear of the Lord, with faithfulness and an undivided heart. •10 Whenever a case comes to you from fellow citizens in an outlying town, whether a murder case or some other violation of God’s laws, commands, decrees, or regulations, you must warn them not to sin against the Lord, so that he will not be angry with you and them. Do this and you will not be guilty.
1 Samuel 12:18, 23-25 -•So Samuel called to the Lord, and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel….23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you; but I will teach you the good and the right way. 24 Only FEAR THE LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do wickedly, you shall be swept away, both you and your king.”
THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS VERY IMPORTANT
Revelation 14:7 – …“FEAR GOD and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.”
Deuteronomy 8:6 – “So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and FEARING HIM.
Deuteronomy 13:4 – Serve only the Lord your God and FEAR HIM ALONE. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.
Matthew 10:28 – (JESUS) “Don’t be in fear of those who can kill only the body but not your soul. FEAR ONLY GOD, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
LET’S CONTINUE TO LIVE IN THE FEAR OF GOD!!!
(1) “PSALM 91 – God’s Umbrella of Protection” by Peggy Joyce Ruth p 16-17 — quoted from Corrie Ten Boom’s book: Clippings from My Notebook, pages 41-42
Special Acknowledgment: Thanks to Evelyn Asuncion for assistance in preparing this message and sharing it at our online service.