Tremendously destructive weapons of warfare are being developed and produced! Political intrigue is being practiced on every side! Treaties are ignored and broken! Nations are plotting against nations! Men lust and have not; they kill and are not satisfied! Trouble and unrest are to be seen on every side! And the Word of God prophecies that perilous times are soon coming for the saints of God! What a present it is in which we live, and what a future lies before us and our children!

Even in the realm of nature today we have abundant evidence of what lies before us. The miseries and afflictions endured today and which will be experienced increasingly in the future are not all man made. War and bloodshed, deceit and treachery may be ours because of the depraved heart of the natural man. But floods and pestilence, crop failures and drought are not to be ascribed to the work of man in every instance. Indeed much of the starvation and pestilence in war-torn Europe is exactly to be charged to the guilt of godless men and their lusts. However what we experience today in our own land is something quite different.

That we have had a strangely cold and wet spring is known to all. Whether we live in Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, California or Montana, we are by our own experiences or by the emphatic witness of radio and press, aware that our country and even sections of Europe are experiencing an extremely cold and wet spring, Thousands of acres of corn have been destroyed by floods. Thousands more of corn, oats and rye will not materialize because the soil in which these crops were to be sown could not be worked due to its exceptionally wet condition. Snowstorms have been experienced in certain sections of our country one week before summer is officially here according to the calendar. The driest spring in one hundred and fifty years is the lot of another section of our country and hordes of insects invade fields of ripening grain devouring tons of food upon which man counted for his needs and his income.

These things speak to the listening child of God. The unbeliever goes his way cursing these works of God and God Himself. He goes on in his folly and apart from the Word of God seeks to find out what causes all these things and brings him so much misery, uncertainty and fear. He turns his telescopes upon the sun and counts the sun spots and is encouraged to note that the number is greatly increased over the previous number last year. He pages through records kept by his predecessors of generations before to see whether such things occurred before. He feels comforted to find that certain sections suffered such floods of equal or greater proportion before. His fear abates when he learns that wet and dry spells come in cycles, and he is sure that things will return to normal in the near future. He can even explain (to his own satisfaction) what happens and causes an earthquake, and in worldly wisdom he erects his buildings accordingly in those sections where he is sure the most violent earthquakes will occur.

When it comes to the deeds of his fellowmen, he is not so easily freed of his fear and anxiety. He knows from experience that the sword and war only embitters his enemy and makes him vow all the more earnestly to seek vengeance at the first opportunity. He knows that today after all the talk of World Wars I and II about making the world safe for democracy, the world is not any safer from aggression and war than it ever was. The cheery optimism so freely expressed during World War II that there would be no third world war is never heard anymore today. Today men talk of preparedness, and they mean preparedness for war. To seek to stem the incoming tide of warfare and bloodshed, appeasement has again been tried and is continuing to be administered. But this is done just exactly because man has not rid himself of the fear of another war. He advocates one world for the very same reason. It is not that he really wants one world, but he is beginning to think that this will be the solution. It will not solve the problem because the clay and the iron will never mix as we well know and as the figure is used by God Himself to show His people that there is no peace apart from Christ and His Spirit and cross. We have reference to the di earn of Nebuchadnezzar which God gave to him and in which he saw an image with a head of gold, breast of silver, belly of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron mixed with clay. The kingdom of the Antichrist cannot succeed and presently the clay and iron which for a time seemed to form one world will separate and that great battle of Armageddon shall be waged between the Antichristian world power and God and Magog. But for a time man derives a little respite from his fear by believing that he can make one world and save himself and his family from the ravages of war.

But what of the child of God? He has more to fear than the unbeliever, has he not? He suffers with the ungodly in flood and drought, in famine and pestilence. His sons die upon the battle field, his home is ruined with the shells and bombs that fall, and his family likewise is killed. But even in peace he cannot find work because he refuses to swear allegiance to man and man-made institutions above his God and because he refuses to follow the practice of doing to others what they have done to you. And presently he will not be able to buy or to sell because he will not worship man and deny Christ and His cross. The world is lining up against the church today as never before. And that goes for the world in the church too. Various movements are under way today to unite denominations by compromising with the lie. It only goes to make a stronger false church which shall the better be able to fight against the true church. And in the last days, Christ tells us, they shall try if it were possible to deceive the very elect. From a fleshly viewpoint, dreadful is the future that lies before the church.

Floods and pestilence, droughts and famines are ahead. This present wet, cold spring simply shows us what can happen and will happen on a greater scale in the future. The sun will be darkened, and we shall enjoy only part of its light and heat. Pestilence and famine will naturally follow as a result, for life and the growth of our food require a certain amount of sunlight, and disease germs abound where it is kept out or greatly diminished. For the child of God such a season as we have just experienced causes him to think of the coming judgments of God upon the world.

Then, too, when we read of so many train wrecks, airplane crashes, hotel fires, and other disasters which take thousands of lives every year and especially of late we begin to wonder how fast we are approaching those days of the seven trumpets when no longer are one fourth of the inhabitants of this earth killed by the sword, by hunger, death and beasts of the field (Rev. 6:8), but instead when one third shall perish of men and all living creatures (Rev. 8:7-1; 9:18).

What then shall the child of God do as he lives in these last times which on the basis of God’s unalterable word shall only become worse? Shall he conceive and beget children? What anguish and pain of soul it may cause him to see them snatched from his side either to fight and lose their lives in those wars which even the unbeliever despairs of stemming or else by the Antichrist who will seek to torment them as punishment to the parent who will not take his mark upon his right hand or forehead! And what of the multitude of subtle temptations which seek to destroy or prevent the faith of our covenant youth? Is it safe for the church to beget children with a view to the dreadful future? What shall the child of God do who lives in these days of confusion which indicate more trouble ahead?

He will live in the fear of the Lord! And the precious peace that passeth all understanding will be his. Therefore it is a foregone conclusion that he will not fear to bring forth the covenant seed of the future even though it may mean grief of soul to him and great agony of body and soul for that seed which he will bring forth. He will have precious peace in the midst of trouble and strife.

That he fears the Lord means that he places all his trust and confidence in God. He believes that God is the Lord and that His cause will ever triumph. He believes in Christ Jesus His Son as his Savior who came into our flesh that He might redeem and Who comes again in judgment to vindicate His people and to usher in His blessed kingdom upon their earth. He puts his trust in Christ and eagerly looks for His return.

He who fears the Lord and lives in that fear is not like those of whom we wrote in the former installment of these thoughts concerning living in His fear. They are not as those who said that they believed that a certain daring man could walk on a wire cable across the deep chasm of the Niagara River pushing a wheelbarrow in front of him with a man in it, but who did not have faith enough to be the man in that wheelbarrow. Those who live in His fear safely and confidently put their trust in Christ. They do not simply say that they believe that he can carry them safely through all the storms of opposition and physical agonies of this life to the other shore of bliss and eternal life, but they lean heavily upon Him and by God’s grace place their whole life in His hands.

Precious peace is theirs! Fear is gone, that is, the fear of the world, fear of the devil, fear of earthly f’ear. They live in the fear of the Lord and are free from fear and cares. They are confident that Jehovah is their light and their salvation and that therefore there is nothing nor anyone to fear. They know that He is the fortress of their life and that they need not flee from anything or anyone. Living in His fear is living in His sphere, that is living in the sphere of His covenant and grace. They live consciously in the experience of God’s loving smile living m the enjoyment of the fact that the light of His countenance is upon them which is His loving smile or smile of love. He who lives by faith, or if you will, lives in His fear, is confident of all these even while he endures many things painful to the flesh and the future looks ominous. A precious peace it is to live in His fear.

Living in His fear, we are confident that all will be well and even now is well with us and our children. The Triune God never worries. He never fears what the devil and his host will do to His elect people and their seed. He is the all mighty one. There is no power outside and besides His. Therefore all things, absolutely all things occur exactly according to His eternal counsel, and nothing and no one is able to prevent the execution of any one of His decrees. God cannot fear. Living in His fear, the fear of awe and reverence, the fear of trust and confidence, we live in His sphere, and the perfect peace of God we also enjoy. We, that is, our hearts and minds, are in the sphere of His love and grace. We cast all our cares upon Him. We take our burdens to the Lord and leave them there. That is living in His fear. Living in His fear, what a precious peace!