Rabbi Schneider - Why Should We Fear the Lord?
We're all grafted into the Commonwealth of Israel, and the scripture tells us in Revelation 15, that when you and I are in heaven, we're going to sing the song of Moses. And here's one of the themes that we'll be singing about. It's got Hebraic feel to it. It goes like this. "Just and true are all thy ways, O Lord. O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are all thy ways, O God. King of the nations art though. The Lord is God and I will praise Him. My father's God, and I will exalt Him".
All right. Well, I'm not a singer, I'm a preacher, so we'll get back to the word of God. Specifically, we're going today to the book of Psalms. We're in Psalm number 34. This is a psalm of David, the King of Israel, whom Yeshua said He was the offspring of, and so these are really rich words that impart eternal life to us. Let's continue on today, beloved ones, where I left off last week. Last week, I left off in verse number eight, where David admonished us, "Taste and see that the Lord is good".
Father, I just pray right now for anyone, Father, that cannot identify a specific time in their life, a specific moment, even if it lasted for a few seconds, where they supernaturally tasted You, where they supernaturally experienced your goodness, where somehow, Father, they said, "I know that was God". Father, I just ask You to release your supernatural spirit right now to every heart that's looking to You, Father, every one that is open, every one, Father, that's sincere, that wants You to touch them. Father, I ask You to touch them in Yeshua's name for Your glory. Father, strengthen Your people's faith. Father, we're dependent on You to keep us vibrant in faith. We ask You to continue to touch us, Father God, through Yeshua HaMashiach, by Your Spirit, that we can continue, Father God, to look up, tasting and experiencing Your goodness in our life. Baruch hashem. In Jesus' name. Amen.
David continues in verse number eight, and he said in the second part, "How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him". Why are we blessed? Why has David said, "How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him"? Because, beloved, those that take refuge in Him are truly safe. If we're looking to take refuge in the world, if we're looking to physical structures to take refuge in, if we're looking to take refuge in our job, if we're looking to take refuge in our bank account, if we're looking to take refuge with physical weaponry, any guns of any sort, if that's what our life is based on... I'm not speaking against guns or against having a good job or against building a strong financial base. In no way am my speaking about that. But if we're not first and foremost founded in being rooted in the Lord, in taking refuge in Him, beloved, we're just going to be washed away in life. Because nothing else is solid, nothing else is safe.
This is why Jesus gave us the parable of one man that built his house on the sand and another man that built his house on the rock. And Jesus said the man that builds his house on the sand, he's in trouble, because what's going to happen to that man, his life's going to change. And when life changes, whether it's when he gets older, or she gets old, whether they lose their job, whether there's a drop in the economy, whether there's a health issue, whether there's the loss of a loved one, whether the company that they work for goes out of business, life's going to change. And the most important thing that's going to happen is when we leave our bodies to meet our Maker.
So, Jesus said someone that builds his house on the sand, that's the person that isn't building their home in the Lord. That's the person that hasn't made the Lord their refuge. And when life changes, when the storm comes, when the economy changes, when you get old, when your love, whatever it is, Jesus says, if you haven't built your home in the Lord, you're going to be washed away, just like that sand gets washed away by the waves when a storm comes. But He said, if you build your house on Me, if you build a house that's taking refuge in the Lord, if you're building your heart structure on His word, if your life's trajectory is putting one foot in front of the other to overcome through obeying Him every day, if your heart is panting after Him as the deer is panting after the water brook, Yeshua said, "You're going to be safe". Blessed is the man whose refuge is the Lord.
Beloved, I want you to know, when you make the Lord your refuge, when you make Him your first love, you're going to go from grace to grace, from glory to glory, from joy to joy, your life's going to go up. It's got an upward calling in Christ Jesus. But for those who sow to the flesh and build their life on the sand and the world, beloved, it's a downward spiral that ends in death. So, Yeshua is admonishing us in the parable with the same truth that David is admonishing us here. Take your refuge in the Lord, build your life in Him.
This is also what the Psalmist was speaking of in Psalm number 91. He that abides under the shadow of the shelter of the Almighty will be safe in that place. If you think, or I think, that we can be successful in life without Father, if we think we can be successful without being led by the Spirit, we're going to find out that we will be sorely disappointed because that which is built on the Spirit, beloved, reaps life and brings increase. That which is built on the Word, because the Spirit and the Word are one, has an upward momentum to it. But the flesh, it decays, it defiles, and it ends in death. I hope that we're taking this to heart because it's easy to think that we're taking it to heart because we heard it. But beloved, sometimes there's a distance between hearing the truth and putting the truth into practice.
So, I want to encourage you, beloved, make time for God in your life. Spend time alone with Him every day. Spend time first thing in the morning with Him every day. Don't let into your life those things that will defile you. Don't watch on television programs that are immoral. Don't allow the world into your life. We need to be like the Shulamite bride in the Song of Songs that the king, who's a shadow of Yeshua there, described her as a locked garden, which means she was keeping out of her life that which could defile.
Let's be on guard. Let's truly live for the Lord. Beloved, He wants to harness you and I that will walk with fidelity before Him. And those of us that are taking refuge in Him realize that it's not just saying we're taking refuge in Him, it's clinging to Him and obeying Him that truly makes Him our refuge. And it's by grace, beloved, it's all by grace, but we have our part to play here. Which is interesting because we hear a lot of teaching and preaching today that's all about how God is wanting to bless us and wanting to prosper us without challenging us with what our responsibility is, but it goes both ways. God has His responsibility, but we have our responsibility. He said, "Draw near to me and I'll draw near to you". Jesus said, "Seek first". That's our responsibility. Seek first the kingdom of God and everything else will be added onto you. And so, we need a balanced approach to understanding biblical truth.
Let's continue on with the next verse. Verse nine, David says, "O, fear of the Lord you His saints, for to those who fear Him, there is no want". And David continues on in the same psalm, and he speaks about being taught at the end of verse 11, "I will teach you the fear of the Lord". This is another truth, beloved, that is so much been removed from "the Christian culture" today, fearing the Lord. But the Bible says the fear of the Lord is clean and it cleanses the soul, that it endures forever. Beloved, fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom because when we fear the Lord, we recognize that we must obey Him. And in fearing the Lord with the recognition that if we don't obey, we're going to suffer for it, it causes us to be obedient just like in the old fashioned days when kids obeyed their parents for fear of not obeying, because they knew that if they wouldn't obey, their parents might spank them or do something else that would cause them pain.
And so, kids obeyed their parents, which kept them walking down the straight and narrow path that kept them healthy, that kept them out of gangs and out of drugs and out of going astray and out of wasting their life, because they feared the punishment of their parents. It wasn't a bad thing. It was a good thing. That's why the Bible says, "He that spares the rod spoils the child". I'm not advocating a particular type of discipline, but I'm saying that when children feared the discipline of their parents, it kept them making right decisions, and part of walking with God involves recognizing that if we don't obey Him, He might pull the rug out from our feet. We might have to fall and suffer in order to learn the lesson. It doesn't mean that we're walking like this all the time. No. The greater thing is to walk loving God, knowing His love. But beloved, the first foundation is learning how to fear Him.
This is why Paul and the Book of Romans, when he starts out declaring the purposes of King Jesus, the first thing that Paul does in the Book of Romans is he talks about sin and its consequences, that the consequence of sin is death. Death is a scary thing. The Bible says that the power of death holds people in subconscious fear their whole life. So, what does Paul then do after he gives us the fear of what happens as a result of sin when we stand before God because of our sin? Paul then introduces the love of God. But keep in mind that recognizing the consequences of sin, putting the fear of the Lord into our heart, that's where Paul starts his explanation of the saving grace of God's gospel.
And so, I want to encourage you today, beloved, so many of us, we're never hearing, we're never being taught about the importance of fearing the Lord. Again, I'm talking about a clean fear, a godly fear, not a fear that puts us in bondage, not a fear that makes us afraid of making a mistake, but I'm talking about simply a healthy fear, a fear that recognizes that because God loves us, He disciplines us. And wouldn't you rather say yes to God willfully than to have Him have to spank you somehow, which is going to hurt because you haven't obeyed? And so, David said, "Let we teach you the fear of the Lord". Verse number 11, "I will teach you," David says, "Come you children, listen to me. I will teach you the fear of the Lord".
Again, some of you that are listening, you might have a hard time even receiving this, so let me ask you a question. Was David off base when he told us in verse number nine that those who fear the Lord will have no want? And King David, the King of Israel, who the Lord said was the apple of his eye, who the Lord described as a man that was after His own heart, was David off base? Was he deceived? When he said in verse 11, "Come you children, listen to me. And I will teach you the fear of the Lord"? I mean, if David said, "I want to teach you children," and notice the tenderness of his spirit there, he calls God's beloved ones children. "Come you children". Listen, he's appealing to us as lambs, little ones, beloved ones. We feel the tenderness of the Father's love there. "Come you children, listen to me. I will teach you the fear of the Lord".
And so, part of this fear of the Lord we're going to see is that fear of the Lord translates, David's going to show us, into guarding what we speak. But I just want to ask you a question before we go further, because I just want to hammer this home a little bit, because some of us, because we've never sought under Godly, balanced teaching that helps us understand in an appropriate way, the importance of the fear of the Lord, some of you, when you're hearing me teach this, it's so foreign to you, you don't even know whether you should receive this word from me or not. And so, that's why I asked the question, was David wrong, or was he off base, when he said to us, "Those that fear the Lord will lack nothing," in verse number nine there, and then in verse number 11, "Come you children, listen to me. And I'll teach you the fear of the Lord"? Was David off base, or is there something that he understood that perhaps you and I need to understand a little deeper, the importance of incorporating the fear of the Lord in our life?
Let me tell you, you know how you can know, my friend? You know how you can know, beloved child of God, how much you fear the Lord? Look what David says next here. Verse number 11, he says, "Those of you, I'll teach you the fear of the Lord". He continues, verse 12, "Who is the man who desires life, who loves length of days that he might see good". Here it is, verse 13, "If you fear of the Lord," David said, and if you desire goodness, if you desire length of days, this is how, David said, you do it, "Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit". You know how you can tell, my beloved friend, child of God, whether you fear the Lord? Analyze what's coming out of your lips.
So many of God's people, they say the fear of the Lord, but they have no fear at all about gossiping about other people, about criticizing other people, about talking about the worst in other people. Beloved, if we fear the Lord, we wouldn't be doing that, because Jesus clearly warns us about that. We're going to be judged by our own words, and the man that calls his brother a fool, Jesus said, is in danger of the hell fire. "Judge not," Yeshua said, "and ye shall not be judged". We have no idea, beloved ones, what motivates other people. We don't know why they are the way they are. We only see them in a clip of time. We don't know how they were raised. We don't know how they grew up, how they were treated by their parents. We don't know their full story. We just know a brief little sliver of a second of their life, and then we make all kinds of judgments about them and their motivations. We don't understand any of it. We don't understand what their motivations are. We don't fully understand why people do the way they do things.
Who are we to judge? Who are we to judge? Only God judges. If we truly fear the Lord, we're not going to be so bold about criticizing people. This is something very practical. I mean, watch your speech for the next 24, 48 hours, for the next several weeks, and anytime you find yourself wanting to speak negatively about somebody, wanting to criticize somebody, wanting to judge their motives, beloved, you better just check yourself and ask yourself, "Is this pleasing the Lord, what I'm doing right now"? And what you'll find, that recognizing that if we go on criticizing other people in an evil spirit, it's going to come back to us.
Beloved, that's part of what it means to fear of the Lord, recognizing that what we sow, we're going to reap because God is sovereign and He is not mocked. So, I want to encourage you today, let's receive this word from King David, who Yeshua said He was the offspring of. "Come children," he said, "Let me teach you the fear of the Lord". If you love life, if you want to see goodness, if you want to see blessing, keep your mouth from speaking evil. This is why James told us that a ship, a large ship, is controlled just by this little rudder at the back of the ship. It's so small, this little thing, but that little rudder controls the entire trajectory of where that ship's going to go. James said, "That's what your tongue is". It's that rudder in your life. Your body's big like a big ship, your tongue is small like a rudder of a ship that's very small. But what you say is going to determine where you're going to go.
So, let's put this into practice in our life. Let's train ourself to fear the Lord by watching and disciplining ourselves as it regards to what we speak. Beloved ones, we're going to pick up here next week. This is Rabbi Schneider saying I love you. Most importantly today, the Lord loves you. Baruch HaShem. And if it sounds strange when I say Baruch HaShem, it just is Hebrew for saying, "Bless the name, bless the name of the Lord". Until next week, my friends, may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you favor and lift you up by His countenance as He's giving you His grace. And may God strengthen you, beloved one, in His peace. Until next week, shalom aleichem, peace to you, and we'll see you then.