Summary: It is because of delayed judgment that many Christians have no "fear" of the Lord.
Fear of the Lord – Do we have it?
Last week, we learned about standing still in the midst, but we also learned something else, The Fear of the Lord! In this day and age, I ask you this morning, where is our fear of the Lord? It is because of so called “delayed” judgment that Christians have no fear of the Lord. We are going to see today about 3 situations in which the fear of the Lord and judgment happened and when.
In our first text today, the people had been wandering in the wilderness under God’s MANIFESTED glory. The irreverent were judged QUICKLY! The incident here is not the first one of rapid judgment when sin abounded. See, Nadab and Abihu made the big mistake of offering “strange fire” before the Lord, but they were already drunk when they entered into the tabernacle. God had no choice but to bring swift judgment upon them. Note also, that Aaron and his other sons were not to mourn them or go out because of the anointing. We are not to mourn those who God will judge.
Then as we go on, we note that after Joshua had died, the people grew colder and colder in their hearts. There was NO fear of the Lord in their lives. In fact, in Judges 2:19, let us read what it says they were doing. Their fear of the Lord had reached an all time low. By the time we get to 2 Samuel, Eli had been judging Israel and his sons, but his sons were very corrupt, committing sexual immoralities and using their position of leadership to lure women into committing them with them. Eli knew of his sons’ deeds but did nothing. There was no fear of the Lord even in Eli’s life. It is hard to understand why judgments of these 2 men were not the same as the judgment of Aaron’s sons. The reason was in Aaron’s 2 sons case, was that the glory of the Lord was strong. There was a fear of the Lord in the camp of Israel.
Again, now in Acts, chapter 5, we see the story of Annanias and Sapphira. The glory of the Lord was very strong in the days of the early church. It is lacking today. Note the swift judgment of these two people.
Yet, today there are many whose sin exceeds that of these 2 and yet they have escaped immediate judgment only to await delayed punishment. They are not unlike Eli’s sons. They continue to sin, blindly comforted because they have failed to realize that they will yet be judged. Nothing happened, they think with a sigh of relief. I must be exempt from God’s judgment. He overlooks what I do. These individuals are comforted by a false sense of grace, mistaking God’s delay of judgment for the denial of it.
Now go with me to 2 Timothy 3. The somber truth here is Paul is not describing the world but rather Christians. He continues with verse 5, saying they will act as if they are RELIGIOUS, but they will reject the power that could make them GODLY. (NLT). They will frequently attend church, hear God’s Word, talk God’s Word, boast in the saving grace of the Lord, but will reject the power that could make them godly.