How are you? How is your week going? Have you been afraid?
With the pandemic of the coronavirus, you can feel the fear creeping in our society. I heard there was a wait to even get into Costco. I came across an article on CNN about how masks were the first to go. Then, hand sanitizers were next. Now, it’s toilet paper. It’s true. Costco was all out the last time we went.
This begs us to ask the question… why toilet paper? Masks and sanitizers make sense. But why our precious TP? One of the reasons that the article states is that panicking people are planning to seclude themselves in their home for their own safety. In stocking up their home (with toilet paper apparently), they feel a sense of safety, since it is under their own control.
We saw that this is one of the results of fear this past Sunday, as we looked at Jacob’s fear of his brother. Jacob feared his brother, because Jacob essentially stole his brother’s birthright and blessing. He knew that Esau (his brother) hated him and wanted to kill him.
In our passage, we saw that his fear manifested itself in spying, thinking, conserving, and appeasing. These are all ways man tries to stay in control in the midst of fear. The toilet-paper purchasing population is trying to conserve themselves by staying in control in the midst of their fear.
What are we truly afraid of? Fear is not a bad thing. It’s ok to fear. However, it is sinful to have ultimate fears. Ultimate fears are the fears we have when we feel like our lives are going to fall apart. We will be in complete need and helplessness if those ultimate fears come true.
Ultimate fears are sinful, because they reveal to us our idolatries. We fear those things, because we idolize those things. We worship those things over God Himself, and that is sin.
There should be only one ultimate fear. We should have the fear of the Lord. He is infinite. We are finite. He is Creator. We are the created. He is Holy. We are sinful. We deserve wrath and condemnation. This instills in us a deep sense of fear.
However, just like Genesis 32 for Jacob, we see the redemption of our fears. We can know that God is with us. We can know that God loves us. We can trust in God’s promises.
All of these are true for us in Christ. Jesus is the One who took on the wrath and the condemnation for our sins. His righteousness has become our righteousness so that we can be sons of God. This great God whom we fear is also our heavenly Father who loves us and is with us.
By His death and resurrection, He resolves our greatest fear, which is the judgment for our sins. Because our greatest fear has been resolved by way of the cross, we don’t need to be ultimately afraid of earthly things. They are put in their rightful place under the fear of the Lord.
Friends, take some time this and remind yourselves of the fear of the Lord. Remember who God is and what we deserve. Remember what Christ has done for you and me in love and grace. And as your greatest fear is relieved, may you live in peace. May you live with appropriate fears. May you live boldly for the sake of Christ.
Hope to see you on Sunday for the Lord’s Day Worship. Continue to pray for one another.
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