Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Fear of God, part 3

After the experience I had mentioned in The Fear of God, part 2, I read the book "The Hiding Place" by Corrie ten Boom. If you have never read this book and call yourself a Christian, you need to put it on your to-do list. Even if you don't call yourself a Christian or you are not a big reader, this is a must read.

In summary, Corrie and her sister Betsy hid Jews in a secret room in their home during the Nazi occupation of Holland during WWII. They ended up getting caught and put into a concentration camp. Corrie's book tells the events leading up to this and what happened after this with details I cannot get into for those who haven't yet read this book.

But there is a particular story that happened while they were imprisoned that cemented my understanding of God's judgement on abusers and oppressors.

Corrie made it out of the concentration camp alive and went back to Holland. Betsy did not. But while in the concentration camp Betsy seems to have been given a special grace to get through the experience without bitterness and to see the events that unfolded around them from a more heavenly or spiritual standpoint.

One day a female prison guard decided to show off in front of a visiting male prison guard. And she did so by beating a prisoner at the work site.
As Corrie observed this she said to Betsy, "Oh that poor woman."
Betsy agreed but said something that stunned Corrie. "Oh yes, and may God forgive her."
It took a few moments for Corrie to understand that Betsy meant the prison guard. Betsy had a grasp on the fear of God. She knew that it was better to be oppressed in this life than to be the oppressor. The oppressor is under the judgement of God in a way that the oppressed is not.

Just as I realized that the abusive man mentioned in my previous post is under judgement and to be pitied, so Betsy understood that this prison guard was under greater bondage and judgement than the prisoner she was beating.
The prison guard did not fear God. And by not fearing Him she put herself in a dangerous position not to be envied.

Oftentimes we don't take God seriously when He says that He will bring judgement on the wicked. Since we don't see it happening before our very eyes we seem to not be able to trust God to carry out His word.


Gem said...

Excellent blog,Mara!
I read the whole thing over the course of the past week or two. (I had to go slow because the first post choked me up- it reaches so deep and true)

Your words are true. challenging, refreshing, and very good food for thought...

Love, Gem (aka Charis)

Mara Reid said...

Thanks Gem.
It's good to know these ramblings make sense to someone. Sometimes it's hard to get them out and make them coherant on the screen.

Oh, and BTW, let me take the time to tell you that I love your little picture. I realized it is a setting of rubies, but it looks so much like a pomagrate which is symbolic to me of other steps on the road out of bitterness.
Hopefully I can get to it some time. You and others have inspired me to continue on posting.