Reading: “And they journeyed; and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob”—Genesis 35:5
We have considered in the past the everlasting security of a child of God, amidst all the corruption, within and without, which he carries about him in a body of sin and death. It will form a very pleasing subject to trace also a believer’s security from the world at large in the natural enmity there is in every unregenerate heart. And this precious scripture traces every child of God’s safety to the same source.
The family of Jacob—the praying seed of Jacob—are still journeying; for here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. The people of God are but few in number; yea, very few. The scripture says, “They are strangers in the land,” (Psalm 105:12). The very profession of the cross will always make us strangers; and as men whose manners and pursuits differ from the world, like Joshua and his people, “They are men wondered at” (Zechariah 3:8).
The question that our text answers is, how are they kept from being run down, oppressed, subdued, and overcome? Our text reads, “The terror Of God was upon the cities round about them.” Pause, and consider this, Christian, and never lose sight of it. He who touches you, touches the apple of Jesus’ eye. The reins of all government, both of men and kings, are in Christ’s hand; nothing can take place but by His appointment. Oh, how blessed to live in the full persuasion of this truth. If a thorough sense of an interest in Jesus, and a union and oneness with Christ, were always uppermost in the heart, this filial fear in Jesus would drive out all creature fear, as the fire of the sun puts out the fire on the hearth.
The prophet beautifully expresses this: “Say ye not, A confederacy,… neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence” (Isaiah 8:12–14).