In my last post, we began a new mini-series to explore the cautionary insights or warnings that Yeshua has given us in obeying His Word. After a brief introduction, we looked at the issue of not being anxious. In this post we will examine handling holy things with care and not being afraid of persecution.
Cautions ~ Part B
“I have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure.” (John 10:10b)
2. Handle Holy Things with Care
“Don’t give to dogs what is holy, and don’t throw your pearls to the pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, then turn and attack you.” (Matthew 7:6)
Whatever God gives us is always precious and holy and comes from His love for us. The Besorah came to us at great price to Him because of His desire for us to be reconciled to Him. The truths we know from God’s Word are promises revealed to us by His Spirit because we are His children. To treat the truths we have been given carelessly, to mishandle the Word of God, and to mismanage the resources God has entrusted into our care is like putting a gold ring on a pig stout.
Some examples of pearls today could be:
- Arguing over your beliefs with atheists who are determined to destroy your faith.
- Giving your God-given money to those who will immediately buy drugs or use it for gambling.
- Spending precious time with those who manipulate and abuse you.
- Lending your car to a reckless driver.
This command addresses several things:
- It helps us realize we need to be careful how we treat what God has given us. This command helps us to be good stewards of the resources we have, the gifts we have been given, and the time we have, using them in a way that brings glory to Him and is not wasted on those who will immediately abuse, misuse, or cannot appreciate them.
- We are to be wise in our dealings with others, not careless or foolish or wasteful for the sake of being “Believers.” Yeshua was no doormat others walked over. He was kind but firm. He was brutally honest toward hypocrites and directly confronted those who manipulated others for personal gain (Matthew 23). He was the protector of the weak, the advocate for the poor, the guide to the blind, and stood up to those who took advantage of others.
Application: We should not put undue importance on our material goods. But if what we have is misused and destroyed by someone, it will no longer be available to be used in ministry to others. Ask God to give you spiritual discernment and His wisdom to know how to use your time and your resources wisely. Do not be manipulated or pressured by others to follow their priorities. Let God guide you to be the best steward of what He has given you. There is always a right time to share the Besorah and minister to the needy.
3. Don’t be Afraid of Persecution
“Do not fear those who kill the body but are powerless to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who can destroy both soul and body in Gei-Hinnom [hell].” (Matthew 10:28; see also Luke 12:4)
Too often we are intimidated by those who oppose the Besorah or by godless people who may be in authority over us. As God’s representatives, there is truly only one person we ever need to fear, and that is the One to whom we must one day give an account of our lives, God Himself.
None can compare in might or grandeur or power to the Lord God Almighty—none! When we speak and where we go, we do so according to His will; and we can be assured His power, wisdom, strength, and might will be afforded to us. Like Kefa attempting to walk on water, when we take our eyes off our Lord and look to the surrounding tempest, we begin to fear. This command should give us great comfort in that the One we are told to fear is also the One who loves us most.
When we lose our fear of God, we begin to go astray. When we take sin lightly, we have lost our fear of God. When we knowingly sin or disobey God, giving in to our lust and desire, we have lost our fear of God. When we willfully engage in ongoing sinful activities and behaviors, we have lost our fear of God.
Losing our fear of God will at first bring chastisement and then lead to punishment and eventually judgment if we do not repent and return to God.
This command gives guidance, a warning, and the consequence of disobeying the command. David shows a healthy understanding and appreciation for the fear of the Lord in what he wrote:
- “Adonai is my light and salvation; whom do I need to fear? Adonai is the stronghold of my life; of whom should I be afraid?” (Psalms 27:1)
- “But Adonai’s eyes watch over those who fear him, over those who wait for his grace.” (Psalms 33:18)
- “The angel of Adonai, who encamps around those who fear him, delivers them.” (Psalms 34:7)
Application: If there is any person you fear more than you fear God that says more about your view of God than how strong the other person is. You must remember that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) You have all of God residing inside of you as a believer. All of His power, might, strength, and wisdom. Let God be your defender as you focus on being faithful. The best chance to avoid the impending consequences of your sin is to repent quickly and confess your sins. He is faithful and just and will forgive you completely, but the consequences of your sin may remain.
Remember always the words of Yeshua: “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” (Yochanan 14:15)
In my next post, we will continue our mini-series on the character traits that Yeshua expects us to possess concerning cautionary insights by exploring His commands to not being fearful and not being deceived.