“The fear of God is the death of every other fear. Like a mighty lion, it chases all other fears before it.”
Copperheads, Cottonmouths, Rattlesnakes, and Coral Snakes make their home in Southeast Texas, which is also my home. And yes, we’ve got alligators. You’d think with the danger of venomous snakes and alligators I’d never leave my house. My husband loves alligators so we tend to go searching those out. I’ve learned to respect the gators since I usually see them from a safe distance. I really don’t want to encounter a snake though. Every time I am working in my yard I pray that God will protect me from snakes and any other scary creature or enormous insect.
It’s one thing to be afraid of snakes and alligators, and all sorts of other things, but what about the fear of God? Is God just waiting to take us out? Should we all run and hide and fear his wrath? Should we live in constant terror just waiting for lightning to strike us? No! To fear God is to show respect, reverence, awe. The Hebrew word “yir’ah” means fear, terror, or fearing. It also means reverence, respect, holy wonder, or awe.
At least 300 times the Bible mentions the fear of God.
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord,” (Joshua 24:14).
“But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you,” (1 Samuel 12:24).
“In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil,” (Job 1:1).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise,” (Psalm 111:10).
“The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love,” (Psalm 147:11).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline,” (Proverbs 1:7).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,” (Proverbs 9:10).
“A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless,” (Proverbs 14:16).
“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation,” (Luke 1:50).
“Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers , fear God, honor the King,” (1 Peter 2:17).
“Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!” (Revelation 19:5).
There are many more verses on fearing God. I think you get the picture of just how important the fear of the Lord is. But What does it really mean to fear God? It means He is on the throne. God is Lord over all. There is none higher than God. There is no equal to God. Satan and God are not battling it out for control. They are not counterparts. God has no counterpart.
Fear of God means I know what God is capable of. I know He rules over all. I know I deserve death and hell, but He saved my life. And yes, God does have wrath. Read Revelation. Those of us in Christ, are saved from that wrath because of Jesus taking our place on the cross. Jesus died for all and paid the price for our sins.
When I fear God, I humbly bow to the one who holds it all in His mighty hands. It keeps me in my place and reminds me that God is always in His place, on the throne. Then as a daughter to The King I can come boldly to His throne of grace. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” (Hebrews 4:16).
I don’t have to shudder in fear that God will strike me down any time He’s not pleased with me. I’m covered in the blood of Jesus and I’m a co-heir with Christ. “Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if we indeed share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory,” (Romans 8:17).
The one true God loves you and loves me. He wants a relationship with us and we get that privilege because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. So don’t cower in fear but come humbly to the cross. Give God the praise He deserves. Let’s worship Him, and thank Him daily for who He is. Awesome, Holy God.
Love you all,
All scripture is from the New International Version © 1978.