This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
I. Introduction. A. Orientation. This morning, We saw another important characteristic We should be cultivating If we are to be pleasing and useful to God: The fear of the Lord.
Solomon told us that this fear, 1. Is the starting point of knowledge/wisdom. True wisdom is not knowing Of how to please yourself Through the things the Lord Either allows or forbids – The Lord calls that sin/selfishness/foolishness – But in knowing how to please Him.
2. For the unbeliever, It is the fear of His judgment. To learn of His holiness/justice, That He takes sin seriously, That He will call every infraction/breaking of His Law into account.
Unless you learn the terrors of His justice – That He will cast those who sin against Him Into a fiery hell forever – You will never run to Jesus for safety – Who alone has satisfied that justice.
3. For the believer, this fear is two-fold: It is a filial fear – If you are His son/daughter, There is the fear of His fatherly chastisement.
But it is also an awful reverence of His divine nature Because of the infinite distance between God and us.
When we see great authority/power, It causes a certain measure of fear or awe. When that authority/power is infinite And the character infinitely holy, It causes holy reverence.
We’re so used to hearing about God’s love And viewing Him as pure grace, That we’ve lost the fear of Him.
But God will be feared.
3 Jesus tells us that our fear of God Should eclipse any we might have for anyone else: “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28).
Paul tells us that we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling, Because God is at work in us, To will and to do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2:12-13).
The Lord tells us that He will not regard us Unless we humbly and penitently fear Him, “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isa. 66:2).
If you’re not afraid of God, You really don’t know Him. Make sure when you read His Word, That you try to understand what He is really like.
B. Preview. Why is it so important that we fear Him? Solomon gives us two reasons in our passage: 1. It will help us to turn away from the things we must not do/sin. 2. It will bring God’s healing if He has disciplined us. II. Sermon. A. First, it’s important that we fear God Because it will help us turn from evil And do the right thing.
4 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and turn away from evil.”
Sadly, we too often think That we know better than God. That what He says isn’t best. That somehow, He got it wrong, And we’re right. This is how deceitful sin can be.
You need to remember That even as believers, you still have sin in your hearts – The desire to break God’s commandments. That sin is opposed to everything God loves, To everything He wants for you, To everything that is good for you, Which is why you shouldn’t trust your heart Or blindly do what it inclines you to do.
How can you guard yourself against it?
First, don’t trust it – Don’t trust your own wisdom or understanding; Or even your subjective impressions Of what you think He wants you to do: Trust God instead!
5 He says in verses 5-7, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes.”
Paul wrote to Timothy, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). You may be wrong, But God’s Word will always be right. You need to compare what you think He wants With what He actually says.
Remember Christian thought Bypath Meadows Went the same direction as the path the Lord wanted him to walk on. He never thought it would lead him and his companion out of the way.
What should have been the clue that it was a bad choice? That he had to leave the path to walk on it – That he had to go against His Word.
Sin can do the same to us: It can convince us to do things Directly contrary to God’s will And make us believe all the while That we’re doing something pleasing to Him.
Don’t trust your own judgment, Or your subjective impressions.
Trust His Word. Whatever you may think If you leave His path You will get into trouble.
Second, fear God and turn from evil (v. 7). Don’t forget that there are consequences for your bad choices.
Remember who He is: He is holy and just – He will bring every sin into judgment.
He has infinite knowledge – He knows what you’ve done, What you’re doing, What you’re intending to do, Even what you’re thinking.
He has infinite presence – you’re never out of His reach. Infinite power – He can call you to account. Eternal – He can require full payment. And He never changes – He is the same God Who brought terrible consequences On His Old Covenant people.
7 How can you know all this to be true And not be afraid of offending Him?
Again, it’s because of sin. Sin makes fools of us all at one time or another. Don’t be deceived by it.
Remember, second, that God, as your Father, Will be faithful to discipline you.
In encouraging the Hebrews Not to abandon Jesus to go back to the Jewish Ceremonial system In order to save their lives from Roman persecution, The author reminds them of God’s discipline, “You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, ‘MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.’ It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live?” (Heb. 12:4-9). He says if you want to live You need to respond to His discipline In a godly way.
How severe can it get?
8 Severe enough to break us out of that sin If we don’t fear Him enough to turn from it ourselves. He continues, “For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed” (vv. 10-13). If we don’t make straight paths for our feet under His discipline – If we don’t repent of our sins – The Lord will intensify things until we do.
Again, how far will He go? He appears to have disciplined some of the Corinthians To the point of death. Paul writes regarding those Who had abused the Lord’s Supper, “But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world” (1 Cor. 11:28-32).
Sadly, we can say we believe all these things to be true, And yet we can still do things we know are wrong, Either because we’ve talked ourselves into thinking What we want to do is right, Or because we’re counting
On the fact that God will be gracious.
It’s true that if you are His, He will be gracious, But that doesn’t necessarily mean You’ll have smooth seas ahead: He will discipline you!
B. But now what if you have sinned – What if you have been wise in your own eyes, Have gotten off the path, And are under His discipline: Is there hope?
Of course there is! God is gracious – He means this discipline for your good, To bring you to repentance, And He is willing to forgive any sin That you are willing to repent of, And take away any affliction With which He has disciplined you.
The author to the Hebrews said If you make straight paths for your feet
Your limb which is lame will not be put out of joint, But will be healed.
Solomon says in our text: “Fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones” (vv. 7-8).
When the Lord brings discipline for sin He will remove that discipline when you repent, Whether that discipline is physical or spiritual.
The discipline Solomon speaks of here Appears to have been physical, But it could have been spiritual as well – Spiritual affliction is sometimes represented in Scripture as physical. David writes in Psalm 51, “Make me to hear joy and gladness, let the bones which You have broken rejoice” (v. 8). His bones may not literally have been broken, But it may have felt spiritually as though they were.
I don’t believe Solomon or the author to the Hebrews Is telling us that every physical affliction Is because of God’s discipline.
But if it is, Turning from the sins that caused it will bring healing,
11 Just as James also writes, “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (5:14-16). The same is true of spiritual afflictions.
And so what have we learned? If we are wise in our own eyes And go our own direction Rather than the direction the Lord wants us to go, He will discipline us: Because He is our Father, And has committed Himself to do so (which is an infinite blessing).
If we turn from our sins – Make straight paths again for our feet – The Lord will remove that discipline And heal and refresh us.
But let’s not forget about the third option: If we fear Him enough To keep ourselves from sin to begin with, We will make greater progress in holiness And be more of the kind of person
12 The Lord is looking to use in this world.
So let’s learn from this not to be wise in our own eyes But to fear the Lord, And turn from evil, That we might walk in His ways, And be as useful to Him as possible. May the Lord help us to do so. Amen. http://www.graceopcmodesto.org