The Fear Of The Lord

Fear=A painful emotion or passion excited by an expectation of evil, or the apprehension of impending danger. Fear expresses less apprehension than dread, and dread less than terror and fright. The force of this passion, beginning with the most moderate degree, may be thus expressed, fear, dread, terror, fright. Fear is accompanied with a desire to avoid or ward off the expected evil. Fear is an uneasiness of mind, upon the thought of future evil likely to befall us.
Fear is the passion of our nature which excites us to provide for our security, on the approach of evil. In scripture, fear is used to express a filial or a slavish passion. In good men, the fear of God is a holy awe or reverence of God and his laws, which springs from a just view and real love of the divine character, leading the subjects of it to hate and shun every thing that can offend such a holy being, and inclining them to aim at perfect obedience. This is filial fear.
Webster's 1828 dictionary

The fear of the Lord is something that we don't hear anything about today. In fact we would like to believe that God is someone who loves everybody the same and that I can come to God and worship Him anyway that I want to. That I can make my own way to serve Him or make peace with Him however I want to. I will even go as far to say that I know that God wants me to do this or that or if something happens that it must be Gods will. I will even justify my selfishness with the statement that God wants me to be happy. But God says in His word that the fear of Him is the the beginning of knowledge. But what does it mean to fear God and what happens as a result of taking this simple attitude toward serving Him and practicing His principles in all our affairs. My friend had emphasized the absolute necessity of demonstrating these principles in all my affairs. Pg 14

Deuteronomy 28:1-2
1And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
The Lord tells Moses to tell Israel that if they obey Him He will bless them more than any other nation on the earth. Now we know that there is one law for all. For Israel and the stranger that sojourns with Israel or desires to serve the God of Israel.: Deuteronomy 28:13-15
And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
And God will make them to be in charge of things that other nations will look to have. 14And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. If they serve Him the way He says to. 15But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: If they don't obey God then He will curse them. Deuteronomy 28 goes on to list some of the curses against the nation of Israel. Now the nation of Israel, although they have been scattered amongst all nations, can still be identified through the curses in this book. But that is for another lesson.:
Deuteronomy 30:10-19
If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
Moses continues and tells the people that if they keep Gods commandments with all there minds and bodies. 11For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. And this commandment is not hidden from you or far away from you. 12It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? It's not in heaven so we need it brought down to us. 13Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? It's not across the ocean that we need someone to go and get it and bring it to us. 14But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. It is right here with us. 15See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; He has given us a choice this day between life and death. 16In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. That if we take hold of the covenant, God will bless us. 17But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; But if we don't take hold of Gods covenant and serve other gods, anything other than the One who gave us His commandments and created us. Whether it be a false religion or the love of some material gain more than striving to do what God has put forth in His commandments. 18I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. We will die. We know that we are going to die physically, but we will also die spiritually. The second death, eternal damnation. 19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: The Lord calls heaven and earth to be a witness that we have been given this choice. As far as God is concerned as long as there is a heaven and earth we have the choice to serve Him or deny Him, eternal salvation or damnation. The Lord has given us the choice to serve Him or to continue to live by our own self-reliance. When we begin to serve Him in the simplest of ways, by the beginning we make in the step work, we know that it is only He that can restore us to sanity. As we continue to grow spiritually we develop a fear of the Lord. This is the only fear that is healthy for us to have. Let's take a good look at what it means to fear God.

Proverbs 1:2-7
To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;
Wisdom and instruction come from the Lord to all who are seeking His knowledge. 3To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. By reading His word, and prayer and meditation on His word, we receive instruction on living in His righteousness. 5A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: If you really want to know Gods will you strive to learn all you can, and ask those who have understanding when you are not quite sure about something. 6To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. 7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. The start of all this knowledge is the fear of the Lord.: Job 28:28
And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.
The fear of the Lord is wisdom because I know He will do what He says. He will destroy those who are not righteous in His eyes. And I know He will reward those that are righteous in His eyes. When I understand this I strive to keep His commandments and give Him praise and glory.

Exodus 20:18-20
And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not
The Lord had just taken the people out of Egypt and destroyed the Egyptians. Now He is coming to them and giving them His covenant and they hear lightning and see thunder, trumpets and Gods voice coming out of a smoking mountain. The Lord wants the people to see His infinite power! It is by being afraid of what He is capable of doing if they are disobedient, that they will start to obey Him and get to know Him and trust Him and see how He will use His power to bless them and love them.: Deuteronomy 10:12-13
12And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
To fear God and to love Him and want to serve Him is what is required of us by God. 13To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good? To set aside our self reliance and live according to Gods standards which were given to us by Him for our own good. By doing this we can be filled with peace and joy and think sanely even in times of extreme hardships.

Now we have been told all kinds of things about what it means to serve God and come under His grace and mercy. Let's look at what God says.: Numbers 15:29-31
Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them.
One set of laws or commandments for Israel and anyone other than Israel. 30But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. But if we purposely break Gods commandments, no matter who we are, we shall be cut off from those who God calls righteous. 31Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him. Now whether you are physically Israel or anyone other than Israel, you will be completely and totally cut off from any chance of eternal life and you will die for your own sins. This is the start of fearing God! When you understand this and strive to serve Him.: Leviticus 24:22
Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God. To serve God there is only one way to do it and it is the same way for all people. We must become spiritual Israel or take hold of the covenant given to the nation of Israel and the strangers that sojourned with them when the Lord made the covenant with them.

Now those who take hold of Gods covenant and strive to keep His commandments or laws are promised a great reward, eternal life living and reigning with God. As we begin to serve Him we start to see that we are coming under His care and protection in little ways. We come to see that there is no such thing as coincidence and that our behavior begins to dictate how content we are or whether or not we are ruled by emotions or at peace and thinking sanely. It is our fear of the Lord that begins to guide us and give us direction in how we live.: Psalm 112:1
Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments
. You are blessed because you now begin to have reverence for the Lord and you are striving to depart from evil. The keeping of Gods commandments is all you want to do and that is pleasing to God.: Psalm 19:7-11
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.The laws or commandments are perfect and in keeping them God changes or hearts and uses us for His good. 9The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. To fear the Lord is healthy and the keeping of His laws are complete truth, honesty and justice. To those who fear God they are better than all worldly possessions! 11Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. By the commandments we are warned what God will do if we don't keep them, and the great reward that awaits us at the coming of Jesus Christ. Starting now with having our fear and anger removed from us and being filled with peace and serenity. Made whole by being restored to sane thinking and given the Power to help others.

God is telling us over and over that He wants us to obey His voice and keep His commandments. He knows our heart and is constantly giving us examples by which we will come to, and continue to fear Him so we will walk in His ways for our own good.: 2 Peter 2:4-9
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
God had satan and his followers cast out of heaven for disobedience. 5And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; Before He made the covenant of the rainbow with every living thing, promising never to destroy the world again by flood,(Genesis 9), God killed everyone that was disobedient to Him. 6And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; He destroyed sodom and Gomorrha, (Genesis 19), as an example to us how He will destroy them that are not keeping His commandments. 7And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) Lot lived among those that were ungodly and still kept Gods commandments. And the Lord brought him out of the destruction of the wicked and protected and provided for him. 9The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: God knows how to set His apart from those who do not serve Him, and will destroy them at His judgment. He will also take care of all who serve Him and deliver them out of temptation if they stay strong in His commandments. These examples He sets in front of us are to cause us to fear what will happen if we do not continue to serve Him.

Jesus told us when He came in the flesh that if we love Him keep the commandments that He gave to us from the beginning of time.: John 14:15 & 21
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. If we have His commandments, the very ones given to Him by the Father, and keep them we love Jesus. And if we love Jesus we will be loved by the Father and Jesus will love us and make Himself known to us. This is done by opening our understanding of Gods word. The pharisees tempted Jesus and asked Him which was the great commandment.: Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Remember Jesus said if you love me keep My commandments! 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Treating others like we would want to be treated according to Gods laws. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. All of Gods commandments, statues and judgments come under the 10 commandments and that is the law spoken of by the prophets. This is what Paul is talking about. Romans 13:8-10
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. We love God by keeping His commandments and we do this in part by loving or treating each other like we want to be treated.

Now it is a common misconception that we don't need to keep the law any more, that we are now under grace. But when we look at the examples given to us by God we see that we have always been under grace. Noah (Genesis 6:8), Lot (Genesis 19:19), Moses and Israel (Exodus the 33rd chapter), and all those that serve God are given grace or come under grace. This is nothing new. Grace is a free gift from God and is the pardoning of our past sins when we repent and turn from the way we were living. You can find and read this for yourself as this is a whole lesson in itself. The point is that if we strive not to sin we come under grace. So then what is sin?: 1 John 3:4
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Sin is the breaking or transgressing of Gods Laws or commandments. Now when we sin a price for sin has to be paid.: Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death; The price for sin is death. but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. The gift or the grace of God is to come under the shed blood of Jesus for our sins. And there is only one way to do that.: Galatians 3:26-29
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.Faith means belief. If we believe Jesus we will do what He says for us to do, keep His commandments. We believe or have faith in what He is telling us is true and He says He will separate us from the righteous if we don't serve Him according to His commandments. 27For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. To put on Christ is to live like Jesus did the best we can. Jesus is the only one in the flesh without sin or having not transgressed any of the commandments. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. God is not a respecter of persons, you either serve Him or you do not! There is no middle of the road with God. 29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. If you serve God then you are an heir to the promises given to Abraham or you become a descendant of Abraham.

Now if we truly believe God or have faith in Him we fear what He says He will do to those who don't serve Him. This can not be stressed enough as this is the essence of fearing God!: Proverbs 16:5-6
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
A true servant of God knows that he is under grace and that anything worth while that he accomplishes is by the Power given to him by God. 6By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. It is by Gods mercy and His truth or word that iniquity is purged and the fear of what He will do to punish us that makes us depart from evil and serve Him.: Proverbs 6:16-19
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. All complete opposites of fearing God and keeping His commandments. Ways that all of us have lived at one time or another.

But there is good news . God gives us the opportunity to turn back to Him.: Ezekiel 18:21-22
But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.
All sins that have been committed! Past sins! We now must walk in Gods righteousness or according to His laws.: Ezekiel 18:30-32 30Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. The wages of sin is death, but by Gods grace and mercy He gives us the chance to repent and turn from our sins. 31Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 32For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye. The Lord takes no pleasure in destroying us for our wickedness. He gives us a chance to turn from our sins. But He will punish us if we don't turn and this is to be feared, eternal damnation.: Ezekiel 33:11
Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
Remember when God gave the law to Israel He gave it to the stranger too. Israel was chosen to teach all the sons of Adam. It was through the nation of Israel that salvation was to come to all men, but Israel was disobedient and scattered throughout all nations. They will be gathered again at the coming of the Lord and a remnant of Israel does remain, to teach those who are truly seeking God, but as with all precepts, this is another lesson. Let's continue.: Romans 3:23
23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Everyone of us has come up short and sinned. This is why we are given the chance to repent or come under Gods grace and mercy.: 1 John 1:7-10
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
But if we repent and start to keep the commandments we come under the shed blood of Jesus. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.The beauty of the step work is that it shows us exactly how we have lived blocked from God. We then have a chance to serve Him and turn to Him and be forgiven. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. If we say we have not broken His commandments we are liars and we have no chance of forgiveness!
2 Peter 3:9 9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The Lord wants all to come to repent and serve Him and He is longsuffering or very, very patient with all of us. But again He will destroy those that are evil and not living in righteousness. We can read over and over again that when the Lord has reached the end of His patience with someone that He does not repent and destroys them.

The good news is that God wants all to turn back to Him and serve Him. It all starts with Faith! Faith in God is to believe what He says and then to be obedient to His word.: Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
What is this but a miracle of healing? Yet its elements are simple. Circumstances made him willing to believe. He humbly offered himself to his Maker - then he knew.
    Even so has God restored us all to our right minds. To this man, the revelation was sudden. Some of us grow into it more slowly. But He has come to all who have honestly sought Him.
    When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us!
Pg 57

Over and over again the Lord is telling us to keep His commandments or laws or statues or judgments. All this is the same thing. To obey His voice and not sin.: 1 John 2:1-6
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: When we fall short, (and we will all fall short), we have Jesus to talk to the Father for us and plead our case and grant us forgiveness for our sins as long they are not willful sins. 2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. And He is our sacrifice for our sins. 3And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. And we know Jesus if we keep His commandments. 5But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. So in order for us to come into a relationship with Jesus we are to walk like He did to the best of our ability.: Hebrews 4:14-16
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. So now we know that Jesus is our lawyer or go between for us to the Father. 15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. And we know that Jesus, when He lived in the flesh, was put through the same trials as we are in the flesh with worldly lusts. But He was without sin. Other verses call Him the Holy One of Israel. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Therefore if we are walking like He also walked, keeping the commandments to the best of our ability, we can come to Him for forgiveness and with prayer and supplications with boldness. And then we may expect to find mercy and grace in time of need.

Jesus said that when He came He came specifically for those who were sinners and were lost. To find them and to bring them back to serving Him.: Luke 15:1-10
Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 3And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? Jesus uses a parable to show that he has not come for the righteous at this time, but for the sinners. 5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. When he finds the sinner He takes him on His very shoulders, and takes care of him. 6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. And when that sinner comes home and begins to serve God again there is great rejoicing. 7I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. And each time one of us repents and turns from our old way of living and serves this mighty God there is great rejoicing in heaven. 8Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Jesus uses another parable to make the same point clear. 10Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. Each time one of us turns back to Christ there is great joy in heaven. John 14:6-7 6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Because the Father gave the message to Jesus to give to us. 7If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. If we obey Jesus and keep His commandments we then also know the Father because it is the Father who gave these commandments to Jesus.: John 14:12-15
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. Again if you believe Jesus you will obey Him and then you will bring others to Him by carrying the truth to them. 13And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. And whatever you ask in Jesus name He will provide it, always as He sees fit. 15If ye love me, keep my commandments. If you keep His commandments!

If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. Pg 25 Luke 11:23-26
He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. Jesus says that you either serve Him or you do not! There is no middle of the road! 24When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. When a person begins to get better through the steps and begins to serve God, they start to feel better and begin to think clearly and sanely. 25And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. But if they stop serving God or begin to rest on just feeling good or stop seeking Gods will because the road gets a little bumpy. 26Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. The individual slips into a state where they find themselves worse than when they first started seeking God. Whether or not they drink or drug doesn't even matter. The fears and resentments and uncontrollable emotions begin to guide them again and it is worse then it was before. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better. Pg 30 Now we all know people who have made a beginning in the step work and have gone back out. Sometimes this happens over and over again. They are always worse when they go back out then they were when they started. I don't pretend to know about each specific circumstance, but what I can read is that the Lord finally gets to a point where He has His fill with people and His patience runs out. At this point the Lord turns His back on us and it is impossible to come back under His grace and mercy. Now again I don't pretend to know each circumstance, or if they even began to know the truth and come under Gods grace and mercy. The point is that once we do, and we turn from it, the Lord will reach a time where He is done with an individual or group of people. This is part of fearing God and what He will do to those that continue to rely on themselves instead of serving Him.: Jeremiah 11:7-14
For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice.
All God ever wanted was for us to listen to Him and do what He has put in front of us. 8Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not. Self-reliance! Doing what I think I need to do to be at peace and make myself happy instead of living how God would have me. 9And the LORD said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. Remember in all situations we stand at the turning point, my way or Gods way! 11Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.The Lord tells the prophet Jeremiah that He won't even hear their prayers! 12Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. That at this time the nation of Israel was worshiping other gods and they will pray to these false gods and they will not be able to help them. 13For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. Even today there are all kinds of false gods being worshiped! There seems to be a religion for everything these days, yet there are few that are striving to serve God according to His word. You can not serve God anyway you want to. He must be served according to His word. 14Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble. We know that God says that the prayer of a righteous man availeth much and He is telling Jeremiah not even to pray for these people! He has had His fill with them. We can read over and over where the Lord has come to the point where He is done with people who will not obey Him according to His word. This is for our examples and a part of fearing God. Fearing what He will do to those that refuse to serve Him according to His word.

Now again the good news is that we have the opportunity to repent and turn from our selfishness and serve God. "God, I offer myself to Thee-to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!" Pg 63 Acts 3:17-23
And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. 18But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. 19Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; Repent and begin to serve God. 20And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. And Jesus will return with our reward for serving Him. 22For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. This prophet was Jesus when He came in the flesh. And all things He brought us was exactly the same things that He gave to Moses and all the prophets before He came in the flesh. 23And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. And if you do not obey Jesus you will be destroyed at His return when He comes to reward those that serve Him and destroy those that He sees as wicked according to His commandments. His commandments are the standard by which we will be judged!

Psalm 34:7-9
The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
Give Him praise and glory and honor by serving Him. 8O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. To trust in Him is to serve Him. We are then blessed by Him with peace and contentment. He begins doing for us what we could never do for ourselves. 9O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. Those that serve Him want in nothing. We may have things that we want or would like to have but we lack nothing that we need. Deuteronomy 8:3 3And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. When Israel was come out of Egypt and was hungry the Lord commanded a certain way for them to gather the manna that He provided them to eat, (Exodus 16). He did this so they would obey Him and begin to serve Him. All He ever wanted was for us to do what He said so we might live with Him. His desire from the time we were created was to live with us and for us to be partakers of His holiness, and we blew that from the time we were in the garden when we were disobedient to His words. So now we have a chance by His grace and mercy to be redeemed and live like we were created to from the day we were created. The lord is constantly searching our hearts and has given us His word so that He might separate those that truly want to be with Him from those that do not. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: All scripture not man made religion! 17That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Be perfect in Gods eyes by serving Him in what He calls good works!

2 Peter 1:19-21 19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the daydawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. Scripture interprets itself. We don't need to, nor should we, rely on anyone else's interpretation. 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. God gave us this prophesy and moved those who were serving Him to write these things that He has commanded us to do. This is why if it is not in His word, and you can not prove it in His word, you should not follow it. You can search history and find where all man made religion comes from.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. Fear what he will do if we don't obey Him and give Him all praise and glory and honor. This is why we were created! 14For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. We will be judged by whether or not we serve Him according to His word! Good or evil in Gods eyes not ours.

We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime. Pg 84

1 Thessalonians 5:21-23
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.