The first week of school is in the books. As I meet new students each year it always takes me back to when I was a kid in second grade. First of all, I was in love with Mrs. Lawrence and I was sure I would marry her one day. (I didn't understand the concept of "Mrs." as a seven-year old.) I was jealous of Brian Girard's extensive Star Wars and He-man collections. (I wasn't even ALLOWED to collect He-man toys.) And finally, I knew that each day I needed to be the best student I could be and not get into "trouble" or my dad would for sure find out and I was dead at home.
You see, teachers never had to threaten me with punishment. It was not them I feared. My dad knew everything. I didn't know if it was because he was a pastor in a town of 365 people, or just the fact that he seemed to know EVERYBODY, but I knew whatever happened at school he would find out.
"Douglas" was a word I heard many times when I was a kid, and depending on the tone I knew if I should duck and cover or expect a hug. If it was "Douglas" with a smile and happy voice all was good. But if it was "Douglas" and there were lowered eyebrows and a lower voice, there was trouble. I liked no trouble with my dad, so I worked hard to have no reason to fear him.
Asaph in Psalm 76 says the same thing of God:
"And You--You are to be feared.
When You are angry,
who can stand before you?"
One of the funniest moments in my childhood came when my younger brother had done something to get in trouble and Dad was giving him a firm talking to, and my brother passed out! Dead to the floor! Asaph says none of us can stand when God is angry with us. We have no leg to stand on. No defense we can give for our sin. When I think of the first sin of Adam and Eve, what did they do? They hid in fear and tried to cover themselves when they heard God coming because they knew they had sinned.
And that is the point, while I feared my dad in his anger, if I did not break my dad's rules he was able to love me with no reason to punish me. No reason for him to become angry with me. It was on me to love and obey him.
It is the same with God. We are to obey and love Him. If we do that, there will never be cause for any of us to fear His anger, wrath, or punishment. And I don't know about you, but as for me I would rather I was on God's side rather than standing against Him. After all, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31) Nothing and no one.