Why Turn Away From Evil?

Job...feared God,
and turned away from evil...

Job 1:1

There are several things we do because of fear. We buy insurance so an illness, accident, or death does not wipe out our families financially. We pay the rent so we will not be evicted. We drive the speed limit so we will not get speeding tickets. We do not park in certain areas lest we return to find our cars have been towed, because they do not have the proper decals. We even stay away from sin to avoid being punished by God. That is the way some people feel. It has been said, “Why, if I even thought about cheating on my husband, God would strike me dead before I had the chance!” Others have said, “If I stole so much as a piece of paper from the company I work for, God would take everything I own!”

Is the fear of God a valid motive not to sin? It was for Job. God told Satan that Job’s fear of God kept him upright and away from sin. tThere is a definite connection between fear and living right. It is not the type of fear which is superstitious in thinking God will immediately “zap” us the moment we do wrong. The fear of God is truly a deep respect and reverence for who God is, what God has done to provide us with a Savior, and instructions directing us toward a life of morality, peace, joy, and heaven. It is a healthy fear, not only of sin’s painful consequences, but of sinning against the Holy One who loves us and upon whom we depend for our very lives.

Has the hurt and pain from an injury due to careless or reckless behavior caused you to promise to yourself not to ever do that again? The first thing we can do is be thankful. The second thing we can do is be motivated to do right by the pain, guilt, and misery of what our sin has done to us and others. If your heart is sensitive to sin, be thankful. For many, sin has damaged the sensitivity of their hearts to the point of being “past feeling” (Ephesians 4:17), a numbing effect. Darkness is as good as light to them. Why not consider the sensitivity of heart David prayed for in Psalm 139:23,24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: Try me, and know my thoughts; And see if there be any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”

Our motives for doing right should come from love for the right path (John 14:15). If our love for God is the priority of life, we will have no problem with listening and obeying God and doing right. Why be so afraid of doing the right thing, when a proper love for God can lead us to do the right thing all the days of our lives? Keep your eyes on God. He never takes His eyes off you.