I Peter 3.8-12
Psalms 93. Jehovah reigns, clothed with majesty and strength. He has created the worlds and they are in orbit, every aspect of the creation, from the minute balance of the environment, to the minute balance of our very beings, are running like clockwork with out incident. The oceans, strong, deep, mighty, sound your strength as they crash against the shore O LORD.
Duet. 5.22-33. The book of Deuteronomy is the call of Moses, to Israel, to remember. He cries out to them to remember Mt Sinai, where Jehovah gave the commandments to them. How the voice of the LORD was so strong and fearful, and the mountain was ablaze with fire, that they trembled with fear. They wailed for the Lord God to use His indoor voice and only talk to Moses, so frightful was His presence they thought they would perish just being close to the mountain. Hebrews 12.18-21 reiterates that same image. Verse 19 says “the blast of the trumpet and the sound of the words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them.” Yet they agreed that whatever God has said they would do.
! Peter 3.8-12. ” To sum it all up, be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning insults, but giving a blessing instead.”
So how do we make sense of these passages put together? I used to run a house framing crew of up to ten carpenters. Even though I am a kindhearted, gentle person who prefers peace and quite, on the job site I was a strong leader. Everyone of my men knew to listen to my instructions, to obey without debate, to work hard, and to be precise in their work. As a result of their adherence to my demands, we were among the fastest, best quality framing crews in northern Illinois. We would frame 35 custom homes a year without call back. My guys loved being on a winning team, hearing the praise of the builders, being the envy of the other framing companies. No one likes a leader who is afraid to lead, to make decisions, or understand the final goal. My men wanted to apply their knowledge of their trade, work hard and steady, and to make money, they did. They hated standing around and waiting for materials, decisions, the next house. They didn’t have to, it was all set up ahead of time, orchestrated by myself and others.
Isn’t this the way God works? He establishes who He is, with power to create, power to sustain, power to protect and provide, then presents to us the requirements for a relationship with Him and what His expectations for us are, with our best interest in mind. He created us, provided salvation for us when we fell away from Him, then asks us to live in harmony with Him and one another, all for our benefit. I realize my example of my work is rather weak in comparison to the full description of how God is and what He has done, but nonetheless God is to be feared, loved and obeyed. The end goal will be worth any effort we put into it.