Looking at old family photos, especially ones concerning church-related affairs, a person is struck by how people dressed. Many people were poor, but when it came to how they dressed for occasions where God was involved, they wore their best. These were God-fearing people and they took Proverbs 3:7 to heart: “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil.” The word fear means to have respect towards something. Do we have that special type of fear?
There appear to be cycles throughout history when this respect and reverence has peaked and declined at various times. This cycle has to do with how human beings view God and spirituality in general. The Almighty can be acknowledged, but still not be given proper respect (Matthew 15:7-9; James 2:18-20).
For example, we live in a time when people’s minds are focused and directed almost entirely on their own comforts. Little thought seems to be given to respect or reverence towards important things, and we see people at special events not wearing what would be considered proper attire in times past. The attitude of “my comfort” prevails so strongly that dress code becomes unfashionable—and our self-esteem falls with it.
Where once people were awed by the great powers of God, they now are impressed by war machines, space travel, modern marvels of nuclear and medical science, and seemingly above all, entertainment. Many of these things present earthshaking and spectacular results—to us as physical beings—and in the face of this the fear of God has shriveled. Since few people really read and understand the Bible, they do not know that God’s power far exceeds mankind’s, and they honor comparatively feeble accomplishments to what the Almighty can do. We are told in Romans 13:1 that there is no true authority or power but God. Man simply uses elements that God created.
There are times spoken of in the Bible where the cycle of respect and honor towards God had fallen to a low point as well. Ancient Israel, after having seen the might and power of God’s miracles during the Exodus from Egypt, and later in the conquest of Canaan, still over the years fell away from respect for God, so much so that God moved His prophets to speak against them (Isaiah 3). They had become spiritually weak, and placed value in their fine things (v. 16), on personal comfort and decadence rather than respect for God. But God promised to take those things away (vv. 18-23) and to make Israel desolate because of their lack of true dignity and reverence. He would punish them because their pleasure had become more important than their Creator (Isaiah 47:7-9).
We are coming to that place again, and even true Christians are threatened by the wrong focus on self and comfort—the cares and pleasures of this life (Luke 18:4). Everyone is in very real danger of giving in to their personal comfort, rather than giving honor to God. Those prophecies and warnings refer to us as well!
Our system of modern commerce, finances, government and manufacturing is all geared to serve comfort and pleasure, and where once our society was God-fearing, we are simply too distracted by modern luxuries. We are now seeing problems in our social system and in the rest of the world. But this “my comfort” age will not last. In Revelation 14:8 we read that God will strike against our modern “Babylon.” In that day, drawing closer all the time, all mankind will re-learn what it means to show respect, towards self, others, and God Himself.
Learn what God really expects out of His people, and what He will teach the entire world at Christ’s return. Order our free booklet, Restoring Original Christianity, and read the informative Tomorrow’s World article, “Significant Religious Trends.” Re-learn that precious “old fashioned” reverence, and understand that some things are worth dressing up for!