Saturday, 11 December 2021
“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” - Luke 12:5
We often come across people who fear many things- fear of future, of failure, of people, fear of losing jobs, etc. Many people including believers are trapped by these fears. Different types of phobias are increasing than ever before. While all these fears are on the increase, one fear is on the decline- the fear of God. The fear of GOD is on the decline not just in the world, but also in the church.
Our key verse for today may be frightening, as it says that one who doesn’t fear God may be cast into hell. For an unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death -eternal separation from God. The one who knows the nature of God will never think so. For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. To say we “fear” doesn’t mean that God wants His children to be afraid of Him. The believer’s fear is reverence of GOD- an awesome respect of reverence growing out of the greatness and power of God.
Why should we fear God?
It’s a command: Ecclesiastes 12:13, “Fear God, and keep His commandment, for this applies to every person.” Our life is centred around God- He is our Creator and Sustainer of our life. Hence a reverential fear of Him must be in our heart – a blend of awe, trust, faith and love and our happiness must lie, in loyalty to Him and in keeping His commandments.
It brings wisdom: Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of the wisdom.” Without the fear of the Lord, we may gain some knowledge of the world and make some practical choices for this life, but we are missing out the most important aspect of true wisdom which is gained only in us knowing God and His guidelines laid out in His Word. Then we can be sure, our lives are guided in the right direction.
It keeps us away from sin: Proverbs 16:6, “By the fear of the Lord, one departs from evil.” When we revere the Lord God who is holy, a healthy hatred for sin guards us which restrains us from committing follies and living corrupt lives.
It brings blessings: Psalm 112:1: “How blessed is the man who fears the Lord.” A right standing with God with reverence brings blessings not only to a person but also to the family and the nation. Psalm 34:10 says, “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.”
The Bible takes the fear of God very seriously. People would rather concentrate on the mercy of God rather than His fear. We would often like to view the God of the Old Testament who was one to be feared, but the God of the New as one who is merciful. But remember- the God of the Old Testament is also the God of the New. The Grace and judgment of God was very much of the Old Testament as much as when He sent His Son Jesus into the world. May you find today the grace of God that offers His Son freely for the penalty of your sin so that His judgment may not fall on you: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.” John 3:36
Think on: The fear of the Lord is the one fear that removes all other fears as He assures us in Isaiah 41:10,
‘Fear not, for I am with you.’