The Review and Herald

794/1902

October 1, 1895

Rule in the Fear of God

EGW

The Searcher of hearts said of Abraham: “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment.” The Lord selected Abraham to be his human representative upon the earth, because he knew that Abraham would cultivate home religion, and would educate his household in the knowledge of the only true God. He knew that the fear of the Lord would circulate through his tents. He who blesses the habitation of the righteous, said, “I know him.” On the part of Abraham there would be no betrayal of sacred trust, no yielding to any guidance save the Lord's. The law of God was to govern all human intelligences, and Abraham determined to keep it. He knew that he was answerable alone to the Lawgiver. RH October 1, 1895, par. 1

The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our law-giver, the Lord is our king, and parents and children are to be obedient to him. There is to be no oppression on the part of the parents, no disrespect and disloyalty on the part of the children. Both are to be guided by the laws of our Heavenly Father, who gave Jesus to be the propitiation for our sins. The law of God is an emanation of infinite love, and naught but blessing can result to him who administers and to him who obeys that law. In the great moral standard the Lord has given rules by which we are to be guided. Transgression is a violation of the principles of holiness. God's will is to be paramount. The High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity, declares that his people shall keep the way of the Lord. Every way that man may devise, that deviates from the way of the Lord, will be found to be the path of the destroyer. RH October 1, 1895, par. 2

We are not to inquire, What is the practice of men? or, What is the custom of the world? We are not to ask, How shall I act in order to have the approval of men? or, What will the world tolerate? The question of intense interest to every soul is, What hath God said? We are to read his word and obey it, not swerving one jot or tittle from its requirements, but acting irrespective of human traditions and jurisdiction. Neither parents nor children will prosper except as they endeavor to reach the great standard of righteousness. We are not to do as did Adam, and act upon some other word rather than the word of God. Adam's departure from the word of God opened the floodgates of woe upon our world. Should not the result of Adam's disobedience be sufficient to warn us from the way of transgression? With Adam's example before us and the dire consequences of his sin, shall we venture to transgress, because the great deceiver would entice us from obedience to the word of God? Shall we wander away from our Maker? or shall we inquire, What is the way of the Lord? To refuse to keep the way of the Lord, and to listen to the voice that leads away from God's great moral standard, is to venture upon forbidden ground; and in presuming to follow his own way, man arrogates to himself wisdom superior to the wisdom of Him who is infinite and omnipotent. RH October 1, 1895, par. 3

Many in the Christian world are walking in the darkness of falsehood and error, and placing their wisdom above that of their Creator. Parents do this when they choose some other way than the way of the Lord, and lead their children in the same paths that they themselves in their blindness have entered upon. They do not feel under any obligation to walk with pleasure in the way of the Lord, because in so doing they would have to lift the cross, and therefore they do not lead their children in the path of truth and obedience. They act the same part as did the first deceiver, and become disloyal themselves, and through setting them a wrong example, they lead their children into disloyalty. O how many are abusing the grace of God! Although they make a profession of following Christ, they know not the day of their opportunities and privileges. RH October 1, 1895, par. 4

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and ... thy neighbor as thyself.” What a change would be wrought in our world if men would keep the way of the Lord, giving supreme love and loyalty to God, and manifesting love and respect for their neighbors. Those who would do this would manifest the character of Christ, and would continually exercise justice and mercy toward their fellow-men. Should representative men keep the way of the Lord, they would point men to a high and holy standard. Those in positions of trust would be strictly temperate. Magistrates, senators, and judges would have a clear understanding, and their judgment would be sound and unperverted. The fear of the Lord would ever be before them, and they would depend upon a higher wisdom than their own. The Heavenly Teacher would make them wise in counsel, and strong to work steadfastly in opposition to all wrong, and to advance that which is right and just and true. The word of God would be their guide, and all oppression would be discarded. Lawmakers and administrators would abide by every good and just law, ever teaching the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment. God is the head of all good and just governments and laws. Those who are intrusted with the responsibility of administering any part of the law, are accountable to God as stewards of his goods. RH October 1, 1895, par. 5

The Lord has given instruction to lawmakers, and has said, “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment; thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty; but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbor.” He that rules over men should rule in the fear of God. The prophet says, “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.” Those who take upon themselves the responsibility of governing men, will have to give an account of all the works they do. RH October 1, 1895, par. 6

Every man, woman, and child is God's property, and has been bought with a price, even with the infinite price of the precious blood of the Son of God. God will not tolerate injustice from man to his fellow-men. He will not pass over oppression and wrong. Men in office cannot permit the practice of injustice and yet be clear from the judgment of God. For the sake of their own souls, and for the sake of the souls of others, men in positions of trust should seek to do good to their fellow-men, representing the character of the great Lawgiver. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” It is not God's design that men should be cold, hard-hearted, and oppressive toward their fellow men, and they will not be excused in being oppressive simply because they are invested with authority. Every work is to be brought into judgment, and every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil, and every man will be rewarded according as his work has been. Those who practice injustice and oppression set at naught the authority of God, and declare by their actions that they have no regard for the word of Christ, who has purchased redemption at an infinite cost. Men should remember that no matter what customs have prevailed, no matter what laws have been brought into existence, the great Lawgiver is to be obeyed. God's law is to hold the supreme place, and is not made void by the maxims, customs, and inventions of men. Those who devise laws contrary to the law of God, will be brought into judgment, and will receive according to their dues. RH October 1, 1895, par. 7

“Run ye to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and see now, and know, and seek in the broad places thereof, if ye can find a man, if there be any that executeth judgment, that seeketh the truth; and I will pardon it. And though they say, The Lord liveth; surely they swear falsely. O Lord, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction; they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return. Therefore I said, Surely these are poor; they are foolish; for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God. I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgment of their God; but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.... Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not; fear ye not me? saith the Lord; will ye not tremble at my presence, which have placed the sand for the bound of the sea by a perpetual decree, that it cannot pass it; and though the waves thereof toss themselves, yet can they not prevail; though they roar, yet can they not pass over it? ... The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so; and what will ye do in the end thereof?” “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous [those who respect and honor the law of God, the foundation of all government in heaven and in earth], and condemn the wicked.” RH October 1, 1895, par. 8

“Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the Lord thy God, and do his commandments and his statutes.... And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth; and all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face; they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. The Lord shall establish thee a holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, and walk in his ways.... If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God; then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.... Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.” RH October 1, 1895, par. 9

“For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.... Therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live; that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him; for he is thy life, and the length of thy days.” RH October 1, 1895, par. 10

One of the most deplorable things upon the earth is the fact that there are passionate governors and unjust judges. They forget that they are under the authority of the great Governor, the all-wise God, and that he is above every ruler, prince, governor, or king. Rulers are God's servants, and they are to serve their time as his apprentices. It is for their good that they faithfully follow the plain “thus saith the Lord,” keeping the way of the Lord to do justice and judgment. They are to exercise their powers without partiality and without hypocrisy, refusing to be bought or sold, scorning all bribes, and standing in moral independence and dignity before God. They are not to connive at one act of dishonesty or injustice. They are not to do a base, unjust action themselves, nor to sustain others in acts of oppression. Wise rulers will not permit the people to be oppressed because of the envy and jealousy of those who disregard the law of God. It was this spirit that ruled the scribes and the Pharisees in their condemnation and crucifixion of the world's Redeemer. All need to keep eternity in view, and not to act in such a way that God cannot ratify their judgment in the courts of heaven. RH October 1, 1895, par. 11

Not long hence it will be found that it is no light matter to work against God in a single instance. Not long hence it will be found that the approval of God is worth more than any amount of silver and gold. It will be found that to every action there has been an invisible witness who has taken cognizance, and has written it in a book, so that every man will be judged according to what he has done, whether it be good or evil. In that day sentence will be pronounced against every one that has done evil, whether he be Jew or Gentile, small or great, rich or poor, free or bond. The wise man says, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him.” RH October 1, 1895, par. 12