Thursday, October 2, 2014

Implicit Trust

There is a phrase in scripture that seems to have a few “colors” (nuances). That phrase is “the fear of Jehovah” (or, “the fear of God”, “the fear of the Lord”). In some cases, this might be understood as having implicit trust in God, regardless of the situation.

Let me illustrate: A young person has been raised by his (or her) parents to reject any offers of drugs. But one day at school, he is approached by peers and offered drugs. Now, out of peer pressure (a fear of displeasing his peers), that young person hesitates, looks around, and sees no one else. He (or she) then accepts the drugs. But now, what if there were police watching this and the child got arrested? Later his parents are summoned to the police station.

The parents look at their child without a word. Can you imagine the shock, embarrassment and sadness the child would feel? The child may have actually truly loved his parents, just not enough to stand up to peers. If that child had greater respect (fear) of displeasing his parents, he should have rejected the offer without hesitation. Apparently, the child didn't have such respect. (Some may want to argue that perhaps the child was just trying to avoid a confrontation and actually planned to throw the drugs away, but that was not the training and instructions he received. Even if he tries to explain his actions that way, what will be the likelihood of his parents or the police believing him?)

The fear of Jehovah is the same way. We fear displeasing God more than we fear whatever others may do to us. Just as the wisest action the child should have taken was to completely and immediately reject the drug offer, the wisest action those claiming to worship God in truth can take is to act exactly as God directs. One of the greatest (in my mind) scriptural examples of this are the three Hebrews who were threatened with being burned alive if they didn't fall down and worship a statue that pagan king had made. Their unwavering loyalty to God was demonstrated in their response. (Daniel 3:16-18)

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