Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Psalm 85:8-13 Fear God, not People

KEY TEXT: Ps 85:8-9 Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.

KEY THOT: As we reflect in the afterglow of the JDOP, we remember the Aaronic blessing of peace that the Church in Singapore prayed over our PM and also over Singapore: “for he will speak peace to his people, to his saints.” But this experience of God's peace (shalom) is conditional on God’s people “not turn back to folly.”

As we witnessed the moral decline of nations one by one to LGBT agenda to legalize gay marriages (18 countries to date), we pray Singapore will not fall into this moral abyss. We have to restore the fear of the Lord in His saints, for it is the beginning of wisdom. When we have the fear of God, we will reject immorality under whatever guise and we shall experience His salvation and His glory in our land, setting up a firewall against moral confusion and corruption. Only then will we experience God's shalom: “Yes, the Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase” (v.12).

God’s salvation is near to those who fear him. God’s salvation brings God’s glory into our land, not just into the churches. Our land needs to know His glory and this is possible only as we share God’s salvation to the lost and teach God’s people to fear God. Our God is not an indulgent and soft-hearted Daddy who cannot bear to see His children suffer even a little pin-prick pain, but He is a firm and holy Father, an Abba who requires His children to fear Him and walk in righteousness to experience His daily salvation and glory. Only when we restore the fear of the Lord will we see his righteousness and peace “kiss each other” (v.10).

I have to be careful not to let the fear of people over-rule my fear of God. For a pastor, the fear of people leaving for softer and greener pastures can sometime hold me back from speaking against sins. However, the current folly of some Christians is to confuse accepting the homosexuals as sinners in need of God's grace with accepting or even approving the homosexual lifestyle as normal, for fear of rejection by the gay people. When we have the fear of God in our heart, we cannot commend what Scripture condemns. If I am to be faithful to what the Lord speaks in His Word, I have to speak as God speaks out of fear of losing His glory rather than fear of losing the crowd's approval.

Father, teach me to fear Your name, that Your salvation and glory may fill our land and that righteousness and peace may kiss each other. Amen.

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