Agonizomai: Malachi 2:5 - The Fear of God

Friday, August 07, 2009

Malachi 2:5 - The Fear of God

Malachi 2:5 - The Fear of God

Malachi 2:5 "My covenant with him (Levi) was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name..."

God’s covenant with Levi under the law was one in which He granted peace - that is He removed the enmity that pre-existed on account of sin. Beyond that, He granted (true) life to Levi, which is in the service and knowledge of God. Well then, since Levi was as safe as houses it was alright for him to treat God as his buddy wasn’t it? No it was not. What God’s condescension and grace held out to Levi was that He could now approach the holy things of God in a proper attitude of reverence and awe.

The NT believer will at once think of the curtain before the holy of holies in the temple that his Redeemer’s death tore from top to bottom, and how the saints now have access to the most holy place without fear and in boldness. They do. But never in irreverence and never without godly fear and awe. The most holy place never ceases to be the most holy place. It is just that, as a free gift of God in Christ, we are able to draw near to the unapproachable God.

No doubt we who will judge angels, and through a redemption into which angels long to look, have been elevated in Christ beyond anything even remotely imagined by any of God’s creatures - whether spirits or men. It is simply a generosity and a grace that is beyond measure. Astounding. Unimaginable. Undefinable. Unexpected. Unattainable. God has not only done the impossible but He has gone way above and beyond anything we could think or hope. We are adopted into the family of God; co-heirs of all things with Christ. That’s all things. Whatever is made is ours, and we are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.

But, as yet, we still carry in us the residue of sin and of sinful attitudes. We have no concept of what it must be like to be holy as God is holy or to be in His family, or to be the heir of all things. The only inkling we get is in the infinite condescension and self-emptying denial of Christ. And when we see with any clarity that all the things that Christ has done and does for us were done because of who He is by nature, and that we are being conformed to that image the truth begins to dawn. We shall be made willing to be utterly condescending and entirely and continually emptying self. I daresay there’s many a professor of religion to whom this prospect is not only alien, but completely repulsive. But the reason we shall be filled with inexpressible joy as we empty ourselves is because of the inexhaustible, infinite, eternal refilling with the presence of God.

We shall count these things as not to be grasped and, in the emptying of them upon some object that He will provide, and back to Him in praise, He will pour more of the revelation of Jesus into our being. And this will go on without end. If the prospect bores you then you need to reassess your position in Christ. If you’ve got pictures of heaven as infinite golf games or endless sun-tanning on white beaches then you’re way off the mark.

So the priests’ part of the covenant was to fear him. That has not changed. That will never change. There is a mysterious sense in which even the Lord Himself feared God. {Heb 5:7} God the Son revered God the Father. God the Son glorified and worshiped God the Father. Yet He was himself God. And if God reveres Himself because He is holy and perfect then men, saved men and even glorified men, should never think themselves better than He in that regard. We should fear God and stand in awe of His Name now and forever.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is something we all need to put into practice day and night, if we want to gain wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Without this first step, we can't be wise. Thank you for the reminder. With all the songs that portray God as "a friend" and books that give formulas for success, it is refreshing to hear the basic truths as contained in God's Word. Many people think of heaven as a place where all our earthly, fleshly dreams come true. Now that WOULD be boring. I'm so glad it will be in knowing the Lord more and more, being filled with His glory in a way we can't even begin to imagine.

9:42 am  
Blogger agonizomai said...


Thanks for your thoughts.

And this is why Jesus will never be a "dude" to me. To worship Him for His deity while recognizing His humanity was good enough for the apostles so it's good enough for me.

And whatever heaven will be like, I trust the God Who redeems me to make it more than I could ever think or ask while knowing it will have to do with knowing Him more and more.



12:07 pm  

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