My reflections and musings on the struggle to leave a Christ-shaped impression on the world of law and public policy.


Monday, April 26, 2010

The Fear of the Lord

It is one of the top three things I hope to impart to my children. Our God is absolutely kind, absolutely loving, absolutely concerned about them and the smallest details of their little lives. And yet, He is no mere doting Grandpa. This God that we have the privilege of knowing is the Great Jehovah.

As J. I. Packer aptly stated, "We are modern people, and modern people, though they cherish great thoughts of themselves, have as a rule small thoughts of God. ... Today, vast stress is laid on the thought that God is personal, but this truth is so stated as to leave the impression that God is a person of the same sort as we are--weak, inadequate, ineffective, a little pathetic. Our personal life is a finite thing: it is limited in every direction, in space, in time, in knowledge, in power. But God is not so limited. He is eternal, infinite and almighty. He has us in his hands; we never have him in ours. Like us, he is personal; but unlike us, he is great. In all its constant stress on the reality of God's personal concern for his people, and on the gentleness, tenderness, sympathy, patience and yearning compassion that he shows toward them, the Bible never lets us lose sight of his majesty and his unlimited dominion over all his creatures."

I have been reading through the Old Testament, where the power, majesty and holiness of God occupy the forefront. What a convicting thing it is to be reminded and to really reflect upon the fact that the God we serve today is the very same God who stood the waters up like a wall, that His people might walk out of slavery--and then let the same waters swallow up the mighty armies of Pharaoh! He is the same God who is so aggrieved by human sin that Moses--dear, humble Moses who is the very model of patience as far as I am concerned--was not permitted to enter the promised land because he struck the rock (thus doing it his own way) rather than speaking to the rock as God had commanded.

What does this have to do with Virginia's pro-life movement? Everything. J. I. Packer points out that "Those who know God have great thoughts of God. ... [They know that] God . . . rules history and shows his sovereignty in acts of judgment and mercy toward individuals and nations according to his own good pleasure." When we know the God of the Bible well, giving full weight to His attributes of omnipotence, holiness and justice as well as His other attributes, I submit that we will not plot our courses based on deference to the powers of this world (think "political realities," "Supreme Court make-up," "polling data," etc.) , but rather by the conviction that we must follow our Lord and take up the battles to which He points us.

Of course, God gives us wisdom and the ability to reason so that we might use them for His purposes. The line between prudently choosing and planning your battles and shrinking back because of the fear of man and his institutions is a fine line, indeed. But it is a line that we must walk in order to be faithful to a mighty, awesome God.

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