Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Maclaren: the sound of the alarm

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
    Commemoration of Francis Xavier, Apostle of the Indies, Missionary, 1552
“His mercy extends to those who fear him,
    from generation to generation.”
    —Luke 1:50 (NIV)
    Fear, the apprehension of personal evil, has the same function in the moral world as pain has in the physical. It is a symptom of disease, and is intended to bid us look for the remedy and the Physician. What is an alarm bell for, but to rouse the sleepers, and to hurry them to the refuge? And so this wholesome, manly dread of the certain issue of discord with God is meant to do for us what the angels did for Lot—to lay a mercifully violent hand on the shoulder of the sleeper, and shake him into aroused wakefulness, and hasten him out of Sodom, before the fire bursts through the ground, and is met by the fire from above. The intention of fear is to lead to that which shall annihilate it by taking away its cause.
    ... Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910), Triumphant Certainties: and Other Sermons, New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1905, p. 300 (see the book)
    See also Luke 1:50; Gen. 19:12-13; Deut. 6:13; Ps. 103:17-18; 111:10; 119:120; Pr. 1:7; Hag. 1:12; 1 John 4:12,18
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, our fear makes us return to You.
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