The remedy to worldly fears of suffering, rejection, failure, death, and losing favour with people is an even greater fear of the Lord, said Bishop Emeritus Dr Robert Solomon in his sermon at the Opening Service of ETAC’s 40th Session.
He based his message on Psalms 76 and 2 Kings 18-19, where the Assyrian king Sennacherib besieged Jerusalem, and sowed doubt and deception among Judah’s people. Their terror indicated a lack of knowledge of God, and they turned to the prophet Isaiah, who trusted that the God of Judah would act for them singlehandedly and destroy Sennacherib. Out of this experience came Psalm 76, expressing the exhilaration of unexpected victory and emphasising fear of the Lord alone (verse 7). Subsequently, Hezekiah, the king of Judah, trusted God more (2 Chronicles 32:7-8).
“Like Hezekiah, as we come to remember God and understand Him, we can respond with faith even when we are frightened, and join the ranks of those who know God,” said Bishop Emeritus Dr Solomon.
Obedience is sure evidence of this knowledge and fear, which comes from spending unhurried time being with Jesus. Dr Solomon encouraged us to ask ourselves: In Judah, God is known (Psalm 76:1), but in my heart, family, church and Conference, is God known?
He concluded by saying that if we know our God, we will not be shaken by deceptions and threats from the Sennacheribs of this world. We can trust the Lord, and like Isaiah, say “I know my God.”
– Story and photo by Chia Hui Jun