Failing for fear

Posted: July 2, 2014 in Thoughts on God
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indexHe also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ (Matthew 25:24-25 ESV)

A wealthy master was going on a journey and called his servants to himself, giving them each an allotment of his property. He gave them talents, a monetary unit roughly worth twenty years’ wages for a common laborer, according to their ability. Each servant was to steward and multiply the amount given to him while the master was away. The first servant did well, doubling his five talents into ten. As did the second, who made his two talents into four. The third however, is the servant who did not please his master, as he did nothing but bury the treasure endowed upon him. The poor servant revealed his fear of his master, saying to him, “I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.” Of this sentiment the great commentator Matthew Henry noted,

“Hard thoughts of God drive us from, and cramp us in his service. Those who think it impossible to please him, and in vain to serve him, will do nothing to purpose in religion.”

Remember then, that there is both a healthy and unhealthy fear of God. As we read in Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”. So understanding God’s holiness, our guiltiness in sin, and His righteous wrath engenders a healthy fear of Him in us. However, that “fear of the Lord” is also meant to lead us into knowledge of Him.

Remember, through the blood of Jesus we are able to please our God, making possible the multiplying of our five talents into ten! Jesus has pleased the Father (Matthew 3:17), and if His life and righteousness have been given to us we also may please Him.

As a Christian, walk in boldness before a loving Father rather than in fear before a cruel master.


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