So that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them. (Jer. 32:39)
Expanded Passage: Jeremiah 32:37-44
Once while backpacking in California, I heard the familiar sound of a rattlesnake shaking its tail. The noise immediately brought fear. Good thing, since I was just about to step on the snake. The fear stopped me in my tracks. Instead of taking the next step and being bitten, I rerouted around the deadly reptile and was able to warn my friends behind me to do the same. The fear possibly saved someone’s life.
Fear can be a good thing. Like all emotions, the feeling of fear is trying to tell us something. It warns of danger. It calls on adrenaline to help us dodge an oncoming car. It causes us to tiptoe carefully when we walk across an icy sidewalk.
God warned the Israelites to keep a healthy fear of the Lord. He said it was in their best interest to do so. He didn’t want to them to think of him as an abusive father who would fly off the handle in rage, but as a loving father who would discipline them in their sin to save them from greater destruction. The fear of the Lord is like a snake’s rattle—a warning to reroute us away from Satan, the deceptive serpent, and put us back on the right path. Jesus said his path is narrow and leads to life. Are you currently walking on it?
Repent of any sins that you have been ignoring.
Jarod Osborne is lead pastor of Pathway (Wesleyan) Church, in Warsaw, Ind.. He is the author of Jaded Faith (WPH).
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.