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Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

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Our God Is A Consuming Fire

Text: Deuteronomy 4:10-13

When we were at the Grand Canyon last year and walked down Bright Angel Trail. Enjoyed beauty & majesty. Given that a slip could have been a 1/4 m. straight down. The feeling of terror mixed with wonder was one of the most exhilarating experiences of our lives.

That must have been something like the Israelites’ experience with the living
God--terror mixed with wonder.
a. It was something Moses did not want Israel to forget.
b. Deut. 4:10-13;

A. Modern people are not accustomed to fearing God.
1. They think it is something primitive people do--along with bowing down to the sun and sacrificing virgins to volcanoes.

2. Illust. Columbus was once stranded on Jamaica with dwindling supplies. Natives were not friendly. C. happened to know a lunar eclipse occurred that PM. Told chief: "Unless you help me my God will curse you & moon will lose its light!" Cheif refused but changed his mind when eclipse began. In early 1900s a British explorer who had read C.’s biography, tried same trick on African cheiftan. "Unless you obey me you will be cursed and the moon will lose its light!" Cheif: "If you mean the lunar eclipse that’s happening day after tomorrow."

B. Even Christian people are not used to fearing God.
1. Sounds too Old Testament.
2. We think of ourselves as having moved somewhat beyond that because we have learned about God’s grace and love.
3. After all, John says: "Perfect love casts out fear";
They think that Fear is for the spiritually immature.

A. Let’s look at what the Bible says:
1. "The FOL is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 1:7).
2. Ecc. 12:13-14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

B. What it means to fear God comes into clearer focus if we can imagine what it would be like to actually see God.
1. Hasn’t happened too many times. (Israelites came close!)
2. An unfiltered experience with the living God!
Isa. 6:1-8 “1In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. 5Then said I, 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 mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
C. The Bible clearly teaches us that we are supposed to fear the Lord.
1. It is a mixture of terror & awe; fear and respect.
2. To fear the Lord is to know something of that terror and awe--it is to catch a glimpse of who God really is.

What then? What is this terror mixed with awe good for?

A. You obey him!
1. This what Prov. means by: "FOL is beginning of wisdom."
2. This is what Ecc. means by: "Fear God & keep his comm."
B. Deut. teaches the same lesson:
1. There’s a tendency for modern folk to think in terms of God offering man a contract--agreement between equals.


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First Baptist Church of Barberville 137 East Broad St. PO Box 97, Barberville, FL 32112 * 386-749-3928