Job 3:25,26--For the thing I feared has overtaken me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.I cannot relax or be still; I have no rest, for trouble comes.
He was the picture of success, a blameless and upright man who feared God and shunned evil. He had ten children and was fabulously wealthy—the greatest man among all the people of the East. Job was so concerned about living a pleasing life to God that he would have his children purify themselves after partying and he offered sacrifices on their behalf in case they might have sinned. So why was this mighty man fearful that something bad would happen to him?
Only God can see our thoughts but I suspect there is not a person alive who does not have premonitions. Underneath our psyche is a resident fear that for most is well-buried but for others is a real and constant companion. When sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, fear took up residence in our genes.
Millions of people wandering Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama bemoan the terrible rage of Hurricane Katrina. In helplessness and homelessness most realize what many feared. Whether righteous or evil, white, brown or black, young or old, industrious or lazy, cascading water without discrimination took anything in its path and destroyed it. If there was presentiment before, now grief conducts the giant chorus that rises from stinking mud and tainted water, “Why Lord, why?”
A significant part of premonition is an underlying sense that we deserve to be punished. We will hear a steady stream of sermons that note that wicked New Orleans required judgment. But even Job in his goodness feared he would experience the unpleasant application of God’s discipline. We may not understand tragedy but the important question is never whether we deserved what we got or the conclusion of who got what they deserved. The reality is that God’s desire is that we would fear Him. In the presence of God Job concluded he was insufficient to understand His workings. Confronted with the awesomeness of his Creator, he shifted his pleas of innocence to confessions of repentance (42:6). God may it be so for us.
Premonitions are real but they don’t have to be debilitating. Fearing God means giving Him our fears. The answer to Job is found in Psalms. David, God’s beloved friend, courageously proclaimed, “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live” (Psalm 104:33). These words came from a man who constantly faced foes intent on his destruction. It was the psalmists who wrote, “Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God . . . Do not let the oppressed turn away in shame; let the poor and needy praise Your name” (Psa.43:5, 74:21).
In the profound valley of trust, the floods we face ultimately do not matter. God promises to love us and rescue us. While we may lose all we have on earth, He prepares for those, whose faith is in Jesus, mansions in places where no tragedy has permission to inflict harm. Don’t let the fears of what might happen, or the pain of what did happen ever take your eyes off the One who understands all that happens. Praise Him! Praise Him! Something to always apply and think about . . . in reveration!
©2005 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)