Agonizomai: Malachi 2:6-7 - Freed <em>to</em> Fear

Monday, August 10, 2009

Malachi 2:6-7 - Freed to Fear

Malachi 2:6-7 - Freed to Fear

Malachi 2:6-7 "... True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. 7 For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts."
Here now is the beginning of a great contrast between the old paths and the new. Levi guarded his mouth from evil and filled it with truth. God who had covenanted peace and life to Levi observes that Levi kept his part by walking in the covenant. And it was in the midst of this obedience of faith that many were turned from iniquity.

Priests were called to walk in the covenant, speaking the truth in love. Priests were there to instruct people in the way of God, as messengers of the Lord of Hosts. And God worked through them - through the obedience of their faith, to maintain the faith and obedience of others.

Never lose sight of the fact that the instruction was done by someone whose part of the covenant was to fear God. This is axiomatic. It was essential to the covenant that the walking in it was done in the fear of God. Without the fear of God there was no covenant-keeping the covenant was broken.

The parallels are many and obvious. Today we are all priests. Today some priests hold offices, called by God to minister and to make clear His message to His people and, by so doing, turn many from iniquity. Those of us who are not appointed by God as ministers in the more pastoral sense of the word are still ministers of the gospel, and are still required to walk in fear, speaking the truth and ministering God’s word to His people.

What makes us different from the world is that we fear God. Our fear shows in our faith and obedience - in our reverence and in our steadfast desire to be messengers of the Lord of Hosts. Godly fear is not an option - it is a requirement.

You would think, to hear many today, that Jesus’ work exempts us from that fear. Dear old pals, jolly old pals we’re all pals together. Us and God. What a partnership! But the son has a reverent fear for the father in a rightly related household. The father’s love, though never abusive, controlling, or dominating to the point of frustration or discouragement, does not erase the dignity of the father’s position ordained by God. God desires to be worshiped. Worship is done in the fear of God. It’s impossible without it. Fear and love are not mutually exclusive. If they were, then we are all lost because Jesus got it wrong. He both feared and loved the Father.

In salvation, God has not removed us from fear as if it was something that existed only as law. He has freed us TO fear Him, because we naturally did not. We have been made to operate as true priests by walking in the fear of God. This was made possible by Jesus Christ. But fear was not eradicated by Him. We must reverence God.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. We rarely hear sermons these days about walking out our salvation with fear and trembling, yet this is the very thing that keeps us from being arrogant and lukewarm. This is a good reminder that we are to walk as Jesus did, in reverence, not taking our position in Him for granted.

9:57 am  
Blogger agonizomai said...


I'll be doing my best to post third party sermons that reflect the lost truth of the holiness of God, the aseity of God and the transcendence of God - but right alongside the truth that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, making the Father known.

Thank you.



12:19 pm  

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