Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
(1) God takes away from them the comfort of their adoption, not suffering children while sinning to have the sweet and comfortable sense thereof in their hearts. He can tell how to let snares be round about them, and sudden fear trouble them. He can tell how to send darkness that they may not see, and to let abundance of waters cover them(Job 22:10,11)
Job 22:10-11 Therefore snares are round about thee, and sudden fear troubleth thee;
Or darkness, that thou canst not see; and abundance of waters cover thee.
(2) GOD can tell how to hide HIS face from them, and so afflict them with that dispensation, that it shall not be in all the power of the world to comfort them. ” when HE hideth HIS face, who then can behold HIM?(Job 23:8,9; 34:29)
Job 23:8-9 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
Job 34:29 When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:
(3) GOD can tell how to make thee again to possess the sins that HE hath long since hath pardoned, and that in such wise that things shall be bitter to thy soul.”Thou writest bitter things against me,” says Job, “and maketh me to possess the iniquities of my youth” By this also HE once made David groan and pray against it as an insupportable affliction(Job 13:26; Psalm 25:7)
Job 13:26 For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth
. Psalms 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.
(4) GOD can lay thee in the dungeon in chains, and roll a stone upon thee, HE can make thy feet fast in the stocks, and make thee a gazing-stock to men and angels(Lamentation 3:7,53,55; Job13:27; Nahum3:6)
Lamentations 3:7 He hath hedged me about, that I cannot get out: he hath made my chain heavy.
Lamentations 3:53, 55 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and cast a stone upon me.
I called upon thy name, O LORD, out of the low dungeon.
Nahum 3:6 And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile, and will set thee as a gazingstock.
(5) GOD can tell how to cause to cease the sweet operations and blessed influence of HIS grace in thy soul, and make those gospel showers that formerly thou hast enjoyed to become now to thee but nothing but powders and dust(Psalm 51; Deut 28:24)
Read psalm 51
Deuteronomy 28:24 The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
(6) GOD can tell how to fight against thee” with the sword of HIS mouth” and to make thee a butt for HIS arrows; and this is a dispensation most dreadful(Rev 2:16; Job 6:4 Psalm 38:2-5)
Revelation 2:16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
Job 6:4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
Psalms 38:2-5 For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore.
There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin.
For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me.
My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.
(7) GOD can tell how so to bow thee down with guilt and distress that thou shalt in no wise be able to lift up thy head(Psalm 40:12)
Psalms 40:12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me.
(8) GOD can tell how to brake thy bones, and to make thee by reason of that to live in continual anguish of spirit: yea, HE can send a fire into thy bones that shall burn, and none shall quench it( Psalm 51:8; Lam 3:4; 1:13; Psalm 102:3; Job30:30)
Psalms 51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Lamentations 3:4 My flesh and my skin hath he made old; he hath broken my bones.
Lamentations 1:13 From above hath he sent fire into my bones, and it prevaileth against them: he hath spread a net for my feet, he hath turned me back: he hath made me desolate and faint all the day.
Psalms 102:3 For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth.
Job 30:30 My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.
(9) GOD can tell how to lay thee aside, and make no use of thee as to any work for HIM in thy generation. HE can throw thee aside “as a broken vessel” (Psalm 31:12; Ezek 44:10-13)
Psalms 31:12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
Ezekiel 44:10-13 And the Levites that are gone away far from me, when Israel went astray, which went astray away from me after their idols; they shall even bear their iniquity.
Yet they shall be ministers in my sanctuary, having charge at the gates of the house, and ministering to the house: they shall slay the burnt offering and the sacrifice for the people, and they shall stand before them to minister unto them.
Because they ministered unto them before their idols, and caused the house of Israel to fall into iniquity; therefore have I lifted up mine hand against them, saith the Lord GOD, and they shall bear their iniquity.
And they shall not come near unto me, to do the office of a priest unto me, nor to come near to any of my holy things, in the most holy place: but they shall bear their shame, and their abominations which they have committed.
(10) GOD can tell how to kill thee, and to take thee away from the earth for thy sins(1Cor 11:29-32)
1 Corinthians 11:29-30 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
(11) GOD can tell how to plague thee in thy death, with great plagues, and that of long continuance( Psalm 78:45; Deut 28:1)
Psalms 78:45 He sent divers sorts of flies among them, which devoured them; and frogs, which destroyed them.
Deuteronomy 28:1 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:
(12) What shall I say? God can let satan loose upon thee; when thou liest a dying, HE can lincense him then to assault thee with great temptations, HE can tell how to make thee to possess the guilt of thy unkindness towards HIM, and that when thou, as I said, art going out of the world, HE can cause that thy life shall be in shall be in continual doubt before thee, and not to suffer thee to take any comfort day or night; yea, HE can drive thee even to a madness with HIS chastisements for thy folly, and YET ALL SHALL BE DONE BY HIM TO THEE , AS A FATHER CHASTISETH HIS SON( Deut 28:65-67)
Deuteronomy 28:65-67 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:
And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:
In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
(13) Further, God can tell how to tumble thee from off thy deathbed in a cloud, HE can let thee die in the dark; when thou art dying thou shalt not know whither thou art going, to wit, whether heaven or to hell. Yea he can tell how to let thee seem to come short of life, both in thine eyes, and also in the eyes of them that behold thee. “Let us therefore fear “says the apostle, though NOT with A SLAVISH FEAR, YET WITH A FILIAR FEAR——” lest a promise being left us of entering into HIS REST, any of you should seem to come short of it(Hebrew 4:1)
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Now all this, and much more, can GOD do to HIS as a Father by rod and Fatherly rebukes; ah who knows but those that are under them, what terrors, fears, distresses, and amazements GOD can bring HIS people into; HE can put them under a furnace, a fire, and no tongue can tell what, so unsearchable and fearful are HIS FATHERLY CHASTISEMENTS, and yet never give them a spirit of bondage again to fear. Therefore, if thou art a son, take heed of sin, lest all these things overtake thee, and come upon thee.
FROM THE BOOK ” A TREATISE ON THE FEAR OF GOD” by JOHN BUNYAN
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