Exodus 20:20

Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid.  God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” NIV

This verse comes from the list of “fear nots” in my concordance.  It is interesting to me that even though the King James Version of the Bible uses the word “fear” twice in this sentence, it is two different Hebrew words.  The first word means “to frighten,” while the second is translated, “reverence.”  This is consistent with how The Message translates this verse, “Don’t be afraid, God has come to test you and instill a deep and reverent awe within you so that yo won’t sin.” MSG

I’ve never thought much about tests from God.  But, I’ve recently begun working through The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren.  In it, he posits that our life here on earth is three things: a test, a trust and a temporary assignment.  He goes on to say, “you will be tested by major changes, delayed promises, impossible problems, unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism and even senseless tragedies.”  When I read this a couple of days ago, it didn’t make me feel very good.  It was not consistent with my image of who God is, and it caused me to question Warren’s thinking a bit.

But, this morning, here is a verse that would seem to an example of Warren’s point … right here on my “fear not,” list.

I think that the rest of what Warren had to say about tests from God was pretty interesting.  He notes that tests in life are “a growth opportunity to deepen your character, to demonstrate love, or to depend on God.”

I’m thinking about all of that today … if tests are a part of life, and if God admonishes me not to worry, but to trust Him and to see His presence in all things, and to praise Him and to be reverent of Him, that’s a pretty good road map.  An excellent one, in fact.

As I continue to earnestly seek God’s will for my life, I am heartened by I Corinthians 10:13, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face.  All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” MSG

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Filed under Exodus, Fear, Old Testament

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