“’The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. O fear the Lord, you his holy ones, for those who fear him have no want. The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” (Reference: Psalms 34:7-11 )
One of the first things you need to be aware of (if you are new to historic Anabaptism) is that the fore-bearers of the Anabaptists/Mennonites were put to death for their faith. The state religion expressed views and a faith system that some people found oppressive and did not reflect how they understood the bible. Because the state religion and the government were sort of one, the state punished to extreme measures those who opposed them. The historic Anabaptists’ dissent quickly came to the notice of the leaders of the state and the stare religion. Punishment, as I said, was extreme and swift.
The historic Anabaptists feared God much more than the state, and since fear of God was actually love and devotion for and to God, and fear of state would mean abandoning their new faith, God won out. This passage from speaks to the “fear” of God but also to the protection that God gives to those who follow the Lord faithfully. The historic Anabaptist testimony for this passage is an excerpt of a letter from a father to his children. He writes to them, “In the first place, I admonished you, my most beloved, always to suffer yourself to be instructed by those who fear the Lord; then you will please God, and as long as you obey good admonition and instruction, and fear the Lord, He will be your Father and not leave you orphans.”
I would pass on to you beloved reader the same advise. I do not say who should instruct you and who you should obey. I hope you know and have people in your life whose teaching and instruction you can follow, trusting that they walk closely with the Lord. On this second day of the New Year I would “admonition” you to find such people, if they are not already in your life. Selah!