SEVERAL years ago, Washington Post called the Philippines as the “only Christian nation in Asia,” but in one of its edition, it also mentioned that our country is a “nation of cheats!” Such statement is an oxymoron: Christian-cheater.
While such claim is unfounded, we are not unmindful of the alleged past election frauds and corruptions in government and private sectors antithetical to the identity of being a Christian nation. Intrinsic to this must be the lack of which is defined as the sense of deep respect mixed with wonder, fear, and love to God. Consequently, as long as the Philippines lacks reverence, regardless of being a Christian nation, it will always be plagued by all forms of evil. As Toba Beta, the famous Indonesian economist, said, “Reverence reduces hostility.”
Simply put, to be identified as a Christian nation, it must go beyond mere adage and the key to which is to always live in reverence. God is emphatic of this when He said, “You shall have no other gods before Me and you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.” Having Him in our mind and heart who has the power to destroy both soul and body in hell helps us escape the corruption that is in the world caused by evil desires.
Corollary to this is the story of spouses Ananias and Sapphira in the Scriptures who failed to observe reverence to Him by lying to the Holy Spirit with respect to the disposal of their bounty (Acts 5:1-11). They did not give what is due Him and they both died at once. Their fatal ultimatum from God, however, resulted to an increase in reverence and awe among believers in the land. It was a stern warning to them how fearsome it was to fall in the hand of the Almighty. Such dreadful scenario happens when reverence to our holy God is deficient.
However, reverence is our best defense in the face of seemingly insurmountable offer from the adversary. We will appreciate its worth when the force of evil is at its peak.
This is the armory that Joseph had during his trying times. As such, he was kept from falling into immorality imbued by his master’s beautiful and seductive wife. Although the woman tried to entice him day after day, he would not agree to lie beside her, or even stay near her. Rather, Joseph said to her, “how could I do this great evil and sin against God?”(Genesis 39) Joseph has been thrown into prison for his reverence but reverence, in return, put him into prominence as he was made governor of Egypt.
Like Joseph, reverence results to pleasing God with our words, thoughts, and actions and leaving Him the outcomes. It is beyond cavil that we cannot have reverence without first establishing our relationship with Him. He should live and rule over us that we may truly understand reverence to the all supreme God. When reverence increases, rebellion ceases.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on October 02, 2017.
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