Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fear The L-rd - ONLY

I read a blessing from the Psalms over my husband every Shabbat.  The Psalm I use is 112 and it is packed with blessings and promises for the one who fears G-d.  Each Sabbath as I recite this Psalm as a blessing over my husband a different verse or verses will jump out at me and have a stronger impact than any of the others.  Frequently the verse that pops out is vs 7 -

"He will not fear evil tidings"
 I thought of that verse again this morning because I was reading 2 Kings 6.  The King of Aram and Israel had been warring and Elisha was constantly revealing the secret plans of the King to the King of Israel.  When the King of Aram discovered this he sent an army to capture Elisha.  Elisha's servant heard about it and in great fear he rushed to tell Elisha.  Elisha's response reminded me of the blessing from Psalm 112 - Elisha said this in verse 16:  "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."  Elisha's servant  must have thought Elisha had taken leave of his senses because as far as he could "SEE" there was no army with them.  Elisha then prayed in verse 17:  "O L-rd, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.  And the L-rd opened the servant's eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha."

There is a true story about a woman named Diane who was visiting some friends.  She stayed longer than she planned and had to walk home alone.  She wasn't afraid because she lived in a small town and she didn't live too far.  Hiwever, she decided to take a shortcut through an alley and noticed a man at the end of it.  She became uneasy and began praying.  She relaxed and continued on home safely passing the man with no incident.  The following day however, she read in the paper about a young girl who was assaulted in the same alley minutes after she had passed there.  She went to the authorities and reported her experience the day before and was able to identify the man in the alley as the assailant.

When the man was confronted by the authorities, he broke down and confessed.  The woman later asked the authorities why the assailant had not attacked her.  The policeman told her that he saw she had two tall men walking on either side of her! She was not alone.  She feared G-d and He sent His angels to walk her safely home. 

If we fear G-d, He will protect us.  If asked what does Messiah mean to me I will answer without hesitation, "He is my Refuge!"  Those aren't just words quoted from a remembered verse - those words come directly from a heart that has experienced G-d's protection in times of trouble.  He guards my heart and mind and fills me with peace and joy no matter what I am going through. 

The enemy will continue to taunt our minds with doubt and fear but if we truly fear the L-rd and trust Him with all of our heart, "we will have no fear of evil tidings."  Just like Elisha when he was told by his servant that the king had amassed all of his armies to capture Elisha, Elisha trusted in the G-d who had called him out of darkness into His marvelous light.  1 Peter 2:9

In order to know this G-d personally and fear (trust) Him we need to stay in the Word of G-d daily.  Memorizing verses to recite is great but reading everyday and getting that word down in your spirit is better.  Even if I can only set aside a few minutes every morning to read a few verses from the Psalms, I will find that later that day through some incident G-d will bring that word back to me.  That is how I hide scripture in my heart and apply it to my daily life.  I may not be able to recite chapters but I can remember a particular location of a passage the L-rd taught me through faithful and diligent reading of His Word.  Meditate on His Word day and night so you will be ready to call upon Him in a moment of trouble.  A lengthy, wordy prayer is not necessary for G-d to hear you.

One quick story and I will close this post:  one day I was coming home from work.  It was raining lightly and a car in front of me was going very, very slowly.  I was afraid of being rear-ended so I carefully began to pass the vehicle.  For some reason the vehicle came over in my lane and I had to apply the brakes to slow down and get back behind him.  This caused my car to fishtail and I went into a spin I could not control.  In sudden fear I called out to the L-rd "Oh G-d, help me!"  All of a sudden my car came to a stop and when I opened my eyes I realized my car was parallel to the road with the front tires in the grass on the side of the road.  I slowly pulled off so I could calm down and praised the L-rd for coming to my aid.  It was then I realized the value of daily communion with Him - in that moment I called out to a G-d I had come to know personally.  At that moment I did not have time to articulate a lengthy prayer - all I could get out was "O G-d help me."  And thanks be to my L-rd, I was not alone in that vehicle - Yeshua was at the front of the car guiding me safely home.


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