Getting To Know God
Jehovah Sabaoth - The Fear Of God's Total Control
Food For Thought
Burning Belly Fat
It's pretty amazing to see how violently fire consumes fat. When we put that concept in a Biblical perspective... Woah!
When we are called to fear God, we are called to be terrified of God. Still, the Bible refers to the fear of God in two contrasting ways. There is the fear of God that keeps people separated from God, like the fear that Adam and Eve had of God in the Garden of Eden where they tried to hide from God. Then, there’s the fear of God that actually draws us closer to God. This is the kind of fear that produces wisdom.
The difference between these two types of fear are simple. Both those who try to run from God, and those who run towards God, are terrified of God; having dread of His power, wisdom, and glory. However, those who run from God, do so because, they are governed by pride and self-righteousness. They are afraid of God, but feel as if it’s possible to flee from God without consequence. Those who are drawn towards God, are also afraid of God, but humbled by the thought of further offending Him. The wicked are afraid of God, and so try to run from Him, thinking they can escape hellfire. The humble are afraid of God, but run towards Him seeking forgiveness in order to be rescued from hellfire.
The frequent mentions of “the fear of the LORD,” serve as reminders that hellfire is always an eminent outcome for the ungodly. Even as believers, our lives often resemble the lives of non-believers. Even though we’ve been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, our lives can often resemble the lives of those who are condemned. Knowing this, it’s good to remember the consequences we’ve been rescued from, and fear the mighty hand of God that is showing so much restraint. If it weren’t for His own faithfulness unto Himself, that mighty hand of God could easily send us into the hellfire we deserve.
When we were talking about this concept in the kitchen, we happened to be grilling. The heat was on. The meat was cooking. The concept was clear. Dead flesh indeed burns. Yet, when cooking meat, the idea is to cook it to make it consumable, pleasant, and delicious. Well, the fear of the LORD does the same thing in the lives of God’s people through the process of sanctification. Malachi 3:2 explains that God will purify His people by His Messiah – Jesus Christ – like a refiner’s fire. In this sense, the fire of the LORD is good – like the fire that cooks good meat. It burns the flesh, but that’s a good thing!
This talk, led us to this image. This photo shows a strip of pork belly. Improperly cooked, this strip of fat is a useless rubbery piece of unhealthy junk. However, when the fire is used rightly, this strip of fat can be amazingly flavorful and buttery! The difference is the one who’s in control of the flame. In this example, we’re like the pork belly. We’re useless pieces of fat that burn easily because of our nature. However, God knows how to use the flame for destructive AND constructive purposes. Rather than torching us into nothing, He uses the flame to change our condition – from nasty, to tasty. Knowing that God uses that same flame to burn up the ungodly, we fear Him, humbly drawing near to Him in repentance, knowing that we’re just strips of fat; appreciating that He’s willing to turn us into something good; trusting that He knows what He’s doing, even if it burns. Remember, the burn could be A LOT worse!