Greatly to be Feared

Michael Beck

“God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.” (Psalm 89:7)

No one enters the presence of God by their own initiative. All who approach Him are invited or called to come near. We read: “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.” (Ps. 65:4)

But access to God’s holy temple does not mean we can behave any way we wish once inside. A holy God has fellowship with holy men and angels. He keeps company with “the assembly of the saints.” But, one may ask, didn’t Jesus surround Himself with sinners? He graciously gathered the outcasts of Israel to Himself. He brought those who were outside the camp into His very presence. He pronounced peace to those who were near and afar off. But those who answered His call did not continue to flaunt their sin before Him. The prodigals who sat at His table were washed from their stench and given clean garments. Zacchaeus repented of his greed. Mary Magdalene was delivered of her devils.

Paul tells the believers in Corinth that if they are to maintain fellowship with a holy God they can no longer touch the unclean thing. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Cor. 6:17,18) Grace does not cancel holiness. The perfect love of God does not eliminate the fear of God. To the contrary, being received into the presence of God means we now live in holy reverence before Him. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor. 7:1)

One day we will stand face to face with God. Today, God knows and calls His own those who honor Him enough to depart from iniquity. They have fellowship with the invisible God. They work out their salvation with fear and trembling knowing that the Master of the house will soon return. God will not be mocked. He sent His Son into the world to take away our sins. He has provided us with a great salvation that we dare not neglect. He has not only chosen us to follow our great High Priest into the Holy of holies, but He has given us every provision to live holy lives before Him. To do anything less is to position ourselves for a day of terror yet to come. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.