Faith and Fear - Part 2
Analysis of Sin
Sin in Scripture is tied to unbelief. When we have no faith in God, we have no fear of God. Unless we fear God, we will certainly be sinful. If God is treated with contempt, His judgments and holiness will be mocked. No belief in God means no restraint on evil. The cause of any major rise in crime is the loss of belief in the judgment of God. That is the ultimate sanction. Abraham went to Gerar and said, “Surely the fear of God is not in this place” (Genesis 20:11). So he was afraid they would kill him to take his wife.
If we scorn God’s power and greatness, we deprive ourselves. God has shown us what He is, not just so we will say, “Aren’t you wonderful God!” It is not to impress us but to bless us. This is what He is toward us. Unbelief cuts the power off. Paul said that he prayed constantly for the Ephesians so this would not happen. “I pray the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know…the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19).
Nobody adds anything to his or her life by unbelief. It is a dead negative. Faith particularly acts against the fears that populate the future and cause a thousand other fears to haunt us. We either fear God or we fear everything else.
Without faith, people turn everywhere for assurance, even in the most useless and pathetic directions. People turn even to the quiet stars, studying the signs of the Zodiac, looking for signs of good luck, casting around like shipwrecked mariners for a rock on which to cling. Isaiah observed all this nearly three thousand years ago and said, “And when they say to you, ‘Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?” (Isaiah 8:19)
The man who fears God fears nothing. This is what the Lord says, “Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the Gentiles are dismayed at them” (Jeremiah 10:2). We recognize God in all His awesome greatness and His power to save us, and nothing has greater power.