Summary: Jesus uses lots of language that should inspire us to the fear of the Lord. Here we can build families that will last.
(Recite Matthew 7)
Those last words of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount give us a clear message, do they not?
What you and I do with the words of Jesus determines whether our lives will stand or fall. Today, I would like to take these final words of Jesus and apply them not just to us individually, but more specifically to how we build our homes, how we build our families, and we could expand that to how the church is built and how a nation is blessed. But let’s focus this time on our homes and families. First of all, Marriages founded on the foolishness of a foundation other than following Jesus Christ have a similar future to the fool that built his house on the sand, ultimate disaster. Second, raising children founded on the foolishness of any other foundation than the teachings of Jesus Christ are also destined to frustration and failure.
What is the secret of building a faithful family? Well, it begins with and is sustained by one thing: the fear of the Lord. What Jesus is teaching here is supposed to inspire a since of both blessing and fear. A promise of blessings of security and strength for those who live by Jesus words and warning that inspires a fear of disaster in all who would fail to follow Jesus’ teaching.
Marriages and families that hear God’s word and obey it, these have a sure foundation in Jesus Christ and a solid future when the trials come… And they will come. Marriages and families that fail to follow in the fear of the Lord… well, Jesus offers no hope or future for those that do so other than destruction.
To begin our lesson, please turn with me to the Old Testament book of Proverbs. Jesus echoes so much of the Old Testament, we must go there to hear the voice of God spoken to us as well.
Proverbs 14: 26 In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death. NASB
26 He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death. NIV
The fear of the Lord…
How can fear build a strong confidence in us and a refuge for our children? How can fear build a secure fortress and, again, a refuge for our children? Don’t we usually think of fear as a bad thing? Isn’t fear associated with weakness instead of strong confidence or security? Well, it all depends on the object of our fears.
Take a piece of note paper from the pew and write down a list of the three things you are most afraid of.
Go ahead, do it. While you are doing that I’ll tell you what I found in the Old Testament about this. I looked up this word fear and there are several Hebrew words in the Old Testament that are translated “fear” Megorah – dread or terror, Pallatsuth – trembling, Yagor – dread, Pachad - terrified and, Yirah – fear or reverence (this word is almost always applied to fear of the Lord)
Job 28:28 And to man He said, ’Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’"
Psalms 19: 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
Psalms 34 ( A powerful Psalm about the blessing of the Fear of the Lord)
1 I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. (Hebrew -magor: dread) 5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. 6 This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! 9 Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. 10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.
11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. 12 Who is the man who desires life, And loves many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil, And your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. 16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. 18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all. 20 He guards all his bones; Not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked, And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. 22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.