Awe or Dread?
When you look at this photo, if you were the one in red, would you be terrified or could you sit in awe at the incredible view?
The Lord is King forever and ever;
the nations perish from His land.
O Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted;
You will strengthen their heart; You will incline Your ear
to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.
(intransitive) to dread; hence, to harass:— be afraid, dread, feared, terrified, break, dread, fear, oppress, prevail, shake terribly.
You shall not be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is in your midst, a great and awesome God. Deuteronomy 7:21
For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD?
Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD, a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,
and awesome above all who are around Him? Psalm 89:6-7
“Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. But the LORD of hosts, Him you shall honor as holy. Let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.” Isaiah 8:12-13
For when he sees his children,
the work of My hands, in his midst,
they will sanctify My name;
they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. Isaiah 29:23
We can stand in awe of our God’s might or shiver in fright from the world’s terror. Which shall we choose?
- Dylann Storm Roof shot nine of our Christian brothers and sisters as they joined in fellowship and communion; even the armed gunman sat with them for over one hour in Bible study and prayer.
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received a death sentence for killing 3 and maiming 264 at the Boston Marathon of 2013.
- Islamic State, Taliban: car-bombs, kidnapping, killing, taking and retaking lands
- Drug cartels
- Armed and unarmed men killed by police
- Boko Haram attacks, kidnappings
- and on and on…
Can we pray for these instead of fearing them?
Can we look to our God in awe for Who He is, for all that He does? He is the One Who enables us to hear from the afflicted, the oppressed, the poor, the elderly, and to be able to do something for orphans, the elderly, the oppressed.
And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Isaiah 2:17-21
Matthew Henry comments on Isaiah 2:20-12: “Let not your eye be to the power of man, for it is finite and limited, derived and depending; it is not from him that your judgment proceeds. Let not him be your fear, let not him be your hope; but look up to the power of God, to which all the powers of men are subject and subordinate; dread His wrath, secure His favour, take Him for your help, and let your hope be in the Lord your God.”
Father God, I pray that I would seek Your Holy face in all ways. Your majesty and glory is above all and before all. I want to see You. I want to hear You. I want to be obedient to You and not follow those who would lead me astray. Father, You are my LORD and Savior. You mean everything to me. I thank You for saving me. Should I ever be in a situation such as in the church in Charleston, may I be able to stand tall for You, not shrinking back from the love I have for You out of fear to man. “Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13 May I stand for those who need You, for those who are downtrodden, for those who are old and alone, for those who are fatherless, for those who are hungry or thirsty. Father, there are so many who need You in untold ways. Show me Your ways. Father, I pray these words of Jude: Now to Him who is able to keep [me] from stumbling and to present [me] blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
That I may be in awe of You. Amen and Amen.