Sunday, December 19, 2010

January 15 (Genesis 16; Matthew 15; Nehemiah 5; Acts 15)

Do you remember the “No Fear” T-shirts that used to be popular some years back? I think the reason those shirts were so popular is that there is an impulse within all of us to want to be so strong that we do not cower before anything. Well, the Bible tells us that there is a fear that is good, and that is the fear of God. In fact Proverbs 1:7 lets us know that this is the secret of being wise or of living the way we were intended to live.

Here is my question for us today. What are some ways we can know that someone is living a life that fears God? How can we tell if we really fear God? Well, the whole Bible is filled with answers to that question but Nehemiah 5:14-19 gives us one that we might not often think of.

In this passage Nehemiah is describing what he did as governor of the land of Israel in comparison with the practices of previous governors. Nehemiah says that he behaved differently from those other governors. The other governors required heavy taxes of money and food rations. Well, one might ask, was it not there right to do so? Yes, it was… and that is the point. Those who truly fear God are those who are willing to give up their rights in order to alleviate the suffering of others. Is this not what Christ did? So, what “rights” are you clinging to?

1 comment:

  1. As recently realized,Nehemiah would have to be my second favorite book of the bible because he showed in my eyes such compassion for his people. The question of how can we know when someone else fears the Lord is a tough one. I feel that one that fears the Lord is one that passes up on either his rights or privileges because he knows if the Lord was right there at the time the Lord would be looking at him with shameful eyes. Remember when you was a child and you did something like talk while your father was talking and you got that look. And how after that you didn't do it again for fear of that look or worse. It is that position of shame we feel within ourselves when we know the Lord is looking. How could Nehemiah impose those taxes with the Lord looking at him and still build a wall? If so the Lord would have said, shame on you with the blessings that I have bestowed on you. Just a opinion with childhood reflection. Bro Doug