There's a fear that's negative, brings terror & fright, gripping a city, trying to take away our civil liberties. Yet there is a fear that's positive that will come on all the nations of the earth. You may have heard of it - in the Bible it's called the fear of God.

Stephen Bennett
Stephen Bennett

A nation is a drop in God's bucket. What is man that God thinks about us all the time? Especially when we fade, shrink and lose what is precious. Bali blows another ground zero with New York. There are more rumors of war and earthquakes. Flesh lines the blackened upholstery in cars in the Middle East. We all dream of nice comfortable houses, Pajeros, and plasma screens, in a Zion of Gum tree's, sand, and rolling surf by shopping centers.Woe.and now .bombings and death in London. SB

Fear stalks the nations. Bob Geldof, looking like a weary but empowered Nehemiah, goes Live 8 with sound, encouraging G8 world leaders to eradicate crippling debt, hideous poverty and disease - the world parties. Bono sings, "How long, how long." Fear stalks the nations. The UK wins the Olympic bid; Lord Nelson looks down from his battle column of remembrance; the nation is ecstatic and parties. Things are looking up, but fear stalks the nations. July 7th, the expected and inevitable happens - beloved London is bombed by terrorists - Fear stalks the nations. I cry for the city I love.

There is a fear that is negative, brings terror and fright, gripping a city, trying to take away our civil liberties. Yet there is a fear that is positive that will come on all the nations of the earth. You may have heard of it - in the Bible it's called the fear of God. This is a reverential respect, based in love and intimate worship. Not the kind of fear generated by extreme terrorists. In the Bible God asks a question:

'"Do you not fear me?" says the Lord. "Will you not tremble at My presence, Who have placed the sand as the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass beyond it? And though its waves toss to and fro, yet cannot prevail; though they roar, yet they cannot pass over it. But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart; they have revolted and departed. They do not say in their heart, "Let us now fear the Lord our God."' Jeremiah 5:22-24. On Boxing Day 2004 another unexpected crisis happened. The Asian Tsunami roared, and tossed to and fro over God given national boundaries. Many of the nations affected worship gods other than the Lord Jesus Christ; as devastating as the floods were, God is saying to the world again, "Do you not fear me?" Thousands of years ago our response for today was voiced by the prophet Jeremiah - "Let us now fear the Lord our God."

It is mid-2005, earthquakes continue in the earth with amazing regularity. Jesus said, 'For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows" Matthew 24:7. The new millennium has seen 9/11 in New York, bombings in Iraq, Spain, Israel, Bali and now London, and the sorrows of the nations are increasing and increasing - this is not negative doomsday hype but a Biblical fact, readily watched on the BBC and CNN. What Jesus prophesied 2000 year ago, is happening 24/7 in these end-times just as He said it would. Even so the Lord provides a way of help - the whole world has responded to the Asian Tsunami disaster with unprecedented giving, through governments, many generous people, Christian relief organizations and churches.

'God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God' Psalm 46:1-4. All these things may be happening on earth, and your life maybe shaken right now, but there is a good river flowing in the spiritual world for the nations - it is the river of Gods love, grace and mercy: His Spirit, His glory to be poured out on the earth.

Many nations and peoples are in an unhealthy state of fear, a satanic fear, a fear of the future, fear of survival, fear of aids, fear of war, fear, fear, fear at every turn. Where will it go, where will it end. Again in the words of the prophet Jeremiah "Let us now fear the Lord our God." The fear of God is the beginning of true wisdom - it is this juncture that all humanity is poised - it is time to fear the Lord.

Our children play on the swing in the front garden laughing with happy abandon. They love school, their friends, relationships and a future that is educated bright and full of hope. We don't want to think about negative things and woe. We want to protect, and keep innocence from being tainted. But the truth is the truth, and the TV spells it out to our children. Our lives belong to a real God who owns the planet and who owns us - as the 'Potter's pots' we cannot undo what He has ordained. It is His earth; He is shaking it, and undoing it, so the eyes of men will be set on the true living God. Those who do, those who fear, those who trust, will walk in the rewards of heaven. 'God shall bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him' Psalms 67:7. God's heart and desire is to bless the nations. If you are in the wrong fear because of bombings and negative world news, now is the time for you to find Jesus - the genuine God that wants to bless you.

At the end of the day Jeremiah the prophet concluded that is Gods rightful due to be feared, revered, loved, adored, and worshipped by you and I - the creation of His hands. Let this be the conclusion of all the matters of your own life.

'Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord (You are great and Your name is great in might), who would not fear You, O King of the nations? For this is Your rightful due, for among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms there is none like You' Jeremiah 10:6-7. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.