Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. 20 He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned. 22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned. —Psalm 34:19-22
The Christian life isn’t affliction or pain-free, but we’re promised deliverance from those things, unlike the unrighteous. How can we take comfort in these verses, when we go through situations that often have no solution and may result in death? Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:32-33). In Revelation 21 we read, “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Although these verses in John and Revelation were written long after King David had written his inspired words, we know that David had the same mindset when he wrote, “The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none . . . who trust in Him shall be condemned.” He understood the concept of the saving of the soul. He also understood divine judgment when he said that the wicked will be slain and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
What do we tell the lost? Do we tell them comfortingly that they have nothing to fear? Do we say, “God loves you, and has a wonderful plan for your life”? or “God cares for you and will provide for you and take you to heaven”? Do these words of cheer to the lost tell the whole story? What about the fact that God wants to change you? He doesn’t want you just the way you are. He wants to change your mouth, your morals, and your mindset! Romans 12:1-2 tells us, “ . . . Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. . . .”
Here’s food for thought: How can you prove, or test, the Word of God by not doing the will of God? What is His will? “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust . . . ” (1 Thes 4:3-6). People are being defrauded today by teaching that denounces the fear of the Lord, denies sanctification, and are devoid of any reason to fear God and repent. King David understood it. Was he perfect? No. Did his own sin cost him dearly? Yes. But David knew and taught the fear of the Lord. Can we possibly teach others about the fear of the Lord by removing any reason for people to fear? Hell is real, and the soul that sins will die the second death unless that person become positionally righteous in Christ, which will always be proven by practical righteousness in life. And this is the true art of living in the fear of the Lord.
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