We are starting a new series about Job, the patriarch from the Old Testament. The title of the series is “Job: Patient Endurance and Faithfulness.” These are the qualities that I see in Job of the Old Testament. As we begin this series, I want to pick out some high points in the life of Job that we can relate to our lives. And I didn't get very far when I noticed a phrase that caught my attention and it's repeated several times in the first chapter. And the phrase is that Job “feared God.”
Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.
What does that even mean to “fear God”? Is that an important part of my relationship with God? There are a few definitions of what it means to fear God, here is one that I'm using for this series.
The “fear of the Lord” is an awareness that you are in the presence of a holy, just, and Almighty God and that He will hold you accountable for your motives, thoughts, words, and actions.
The fear of the Lord is largely contingent upon the attitude of your heart. When my heart desires to follow the things of the Spirit then I can live in an attitude of the “fear of the Lord. ''… where I am aware of His presence, that He is holy and that I am accountable to Him. But if my soul is aligned to my flesh then, I will not live in an attitude of the fear of the Lord. It's a heart issue. That's why David said “Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name” (Psalm 86:11).
If we live in an awareness of the presence of God, we understand the “fear of the Lord.” This is the kind of life that Job lived; constantly aware of the presence of God. Hating the things that God hates, loving the things that God loves, always desiring to please the Father.
What are the things mentioned in these first six verses that make us understand that Job was a God-fearing man? What are the indicators that Job feared God? The Bible says that Job shunned evil…. he was aware of the “world’s” temptations and desires. And Job maintained a close relationship with God.
Job 1:5 b …and he (Job) would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings….
So, this sets the stage for the scene where the enemy is going to come into the presence of God and launch an attack on Job. And God is going to test Job, to see whether he will remain faithful even when it seems that God has withdrawn His presence.
And Job, in his great calamity, his loss, his trial, his grief will remain in the fear of the Lord…why? Because he had already established beforehand that, come what may, he would not have a divided heart…he was fixed on living in the presence of God, understanding that he would be held accountable for every thought, word, action, and deed.
What if God should withdraw His presence from you? Will you continue to live in the fear of the Lord? You will, if you have prepared your heart to seek the Lord and if you have a united heart, that is, an undivided heart that fears His Name.
Join us in person on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. or via livestream by going to https://www.firstbaptistsudbury.com and clicking on livestream for “The Fear Factor.”