Romans 3:9-18 says, “What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Why do people continue in evil? No fear of God. Why is abortion legal? No fear of God. Why is the marriage covenant not honored through adultery, or through easy “no fault” divorces for the most frivolous of reasons? No fear of God. Why is same sex attraction – even “marriage” – being normalized? No fear of God. Why is God’s Name constantly used as a curse word? Why have the Bible and prayer been kicked out of public schools? Why is open homosexuality now allowed in our military? Why do people have the morals of alley cats? Because they have no fear of God.
The Hebrew word for fear, pronounced “Yaw-ray”, has two different meanings. It means to make afraid, frighten, dread, terror. It also means to revere, to be held in reverence; which means to respect, honor, and be in awe of. For the unbeliever, it will definitely be the first definition on judgment day, as is stated in Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God”. However, for Disciples of Jesus Christ, we live in the second fear of God. We should stand in awe of Him. We should reverence and respect and honor Him.
There are some today, who because they have received a revelation that God is for them; that they are accepted in the Beloved; that Jesus is their Friend; that The Father is their “Abba” or “Papa” - they have gotten sloppy in their relationship with God. Yes, He is our Friend – but He is also our King and Lord. We must not let the friendship aspect of God cause us to forget the Lordship aspect of God. We need to be serious about God. We need to fear God.
To fear God is not just an Old Testament command (Dt 10:12); but it is a New Testament command as well (1Pt 2:17, 2Cor 7:1, Eph 5:21). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge (Ps 111:10, Prv 15:33, 1:7). No matter how wise you think you are, you haven’t even started to get wise until you have a fear of God. You might have worldly knowledge that puffs you up - but you know nothing as you ought to know (1Cor 8:1-2).
Men that fear God depart from evil. They hate evil, pride, arrogancy, and the evil way (Prv 16:6, 8:13). Those that fear God praise God, and they don’t envy sinners (Rev 19:5, Prv 23:17). We serve God acceptably when we have reverence and godly fear. If you name the name of Christ, and you do not have reverence and godly fear; then you do not serve God acceptably (Heb 12:28). God takes pleasure in those that fear Him and hope in His mercy (Ps 147:11).
There are many blessings for those who fear God, and delight in His commandments (Ps 112:1). He rewards them (Rev 11:18); His goodness is laid up for them (Ps 31:19); He fulfills their desires and saves them (Ps 145:19). The fear of God prolongs days and gives strong confidence (Prv 10:27, 14:26). By humility and the fear of God are riches, honor, and life (Prv 22:4). The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life; there is no want to them that fear Him (Prv 14:27, Ps 34:9). The Lord pities those who fear Him, and His mercy is great towards them (Ps 103: 11, 13, 17). For those that fear God, The Sun of righteousness arises with healing in His wings (Mal 4:2). To the church that fears God, they receive the comfort of The Holy Spirit, and they are multiplied (Act 9:31).
I believe Solomon summed it up best when he said, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (Eccl 12:13-14). To fear God and obey Him is not a side issue. It is literally the “conclusion of the whole matter”, the “whole duty of man” – aka – the sum of our existence. As a covenant child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, we should not be terrified or frightened of our Father. However, we should always stand in awe of Him. We should never cease to honor, respect, reverence, and worship Him. He is Lord God Almighty, King of the universe. Let us have a proper fear of God as the children of God. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!