The Scariest Verse in The Bible

There are specific passages in The Word of God that I, a full-time preacher, still wrestle with. I don't believe this is bad. It reveals The Bible has even more to teach me in the years to come.

Problem scriptures are, in my opinion, not problematic: they represent future launch points of deeper understanding in His Word. However, there are certain places in Holy Writ that bother me, and I'm not talking about scriptures I don't understand. Quite the opposite. I understand them, and they shake me to my core.

One verse particularly continues for me to be a source of what The Elders would call, "The Fear of God". That verse is the subject of this post.

My biggest fear

A few years ago I was reading through Judges chapter 16. The passage is discussing the fall of Samson - his sin, loss of strength, and ultimately his death. In the midst of this story, a terrifying statement is made:

"... And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him."
- Judges 16:20

This is the scariest verse, to me, in the whole Bible. In this scripture, we learn quite dramatically that it is POSSIBLE for us to get SO FAR away from God that we don't even realize that He's left us! Samson got up to fight the Philistines, and didn't even know that God was GONE!

How can I know if God has left me? There are certain indications ... "If GOD be for us, who can be against us?" ... Do your enemies keep winning against you? I'm not just talking about a single battle, but over-and-over again. Have your foes continued to be victorious against you? Do your PRAYERS seem to be HINDERED or unheard?

When Israel lost the Ark of the Covenant in 1 Samuel, the immediate consequences were not large or obvious. No serious description of nation-wide acceptance of sin. The priesthood attempted to just go on about their business, as if nothing had happened. It's like the loss of the Ark simply made their already-lived lifestyle now official.

But there were certain sacrifices and ceremonies that REQUIRED the ark, like the Day of Atonement - what did they do? Perhaps they just skipped them. They must've lived procedurally according to God's laws, without supernaturally relying on Him anymore. That's SCARY!

What to do?

In the Pentecostal church, the last portion of a service is normally an altar call - a time of seeking The Holy Ghost, prayer, conviction, and generally feeling after God. Such an event mostly results in the soul FEELING God's presence, and receiving direction for the future.

And in seeking God's face and entering His presence, I know whether or not He is with me. This is often why many souls draw back from this final part of the service - they don't go to the altar because to do so would reveal conviction and the absence of God's will in their lives.

I wonder what would've happened to Samson if instead of visiting Delilah's house, he had gone to the Tabernacle and cried out to God. Would he have gone into sin? Fallen? Lost his strength? I can merely speculate. I wonder what would happen to us if, when we are tempted, we choose to go to the House of The Lord and seek for guidance and direction?

That is the absolute necessity of the altar call and the prayer service - I must spend time in His presence. Then I'll know whether He is with me. And if the tug of conviction is felt, that is not bad - it means He can still touch me, and it means I'm still sensitive to His working.

So HOW do I know whether He is with me? Whether His Spirit lives in me? I must go to Church, and feel after Him. I must lift my hands in worship, and lift my voice in prayer. In His presence, in the service, I will KNOW that He is reaching for me. I will know that God is calling me. I'll know then if I'm right with my Maker, or that I must give my life and my all to Him.

Let us arise, dear readers, and go into the House of The LORD!


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