March 25, 2021
Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” Exodus 20:20 ESV
After presenting the Ten Commandments to God’s people, Moses—discerning that they were terrified from the dramatic display of the Lord’s presence from Mount Sinai—assures them that their fear is a healthy fear of their Creator that bears the fruit of conviction and will help them restrain from sin. In contrast, an unhealthy fear of God bears the fruit of shame and does nothing to restrain our compulsion to sin but rather spirals us toward self-condemnation and further self-destructive behavior.
Father God, help us to wisely listen to the promptings of your Holy Spirit who sparks in us an awareness of your majesty and holiness when we are tempted to sin, that we might take his escape route from temptation that leads us to a holy place of worshipping you rather than ourselves. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling