“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18)
It’s the end of the world. Sort of. It’s the end of the northern hemisphere’s usual climate. Instead, it’s an Ice Age. Something no one thought would be happening in his or her lifetime. The shifting weather patterns cause unbelievable damage and catastrophe all over the world. Caught up in the middle of it are the cast and crew of this big blockbuster film, strangely: a university quiz team, a couple of boffins who live in libraries and one homeless man and his dog. There are many moral lessons in this film: to care for your friends and family, look after the environment and a warning to heed the danger that nature can bring with all its might and power. But is it Mother Nature, and a change in the polar icecaps through global warming, that we should fear?
At the end of the world as we know it will be the Revelation, when our eyes are opened to many things previously beyond our imagining. I believe it will also be a time when we will instinctively acknowledge God as the creator and understand the magnitude of the creation He made. Picture the scene: “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth–to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:6-7)
There will be no denying the awesomeness of God at that time. According to the prophets, God is the all-powerful one we should fear. Isaiah paints this picture of a magnificent God: “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?” (Isaiah 40:12)
In the film, the poor man is thrust into a life-threatening situation. But the same threat faces the rich kid, the clever kid, the black kid and the white kid. Humanity is united in the face of devastating forces of nature, what the insurance people like to call the ‘acts of God.’ What we possess materially or intellectually is of no worth when faced with death and before a mighty God; we are all vulnerable.
To fear God and not man is one of the most difficult lessons a human can learn in life. Yet I have the feeling that when we are pushed to our limits, when we risk it all, as when Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac, then we will know it is only God we should fear and only God we can trust. If God is big enough to measure out the heavens with a hand’s-breadth, isn’t He big enough to handle us, our sins and all the baggage that comes with them? Isn’t God the best one to turn to with our concerns for the days and years after tomorrow, the worries we have about the world into which we are bringing our children and grandchildren?
Father, cancel out the fear I have about this world. I want to instead be wrapped up in my reverence for you.