Fear of God part 2

If you’re going to worship a god, make sure He’s the God who can destroy all other gods. Don’t choose those wimpy gods who cannot see or hear and don’t even have the power to blow their own noses. If more people feared God, we might see more gentle treatment of each other. We might also see a greater interest in what He says.

 

“The rest will hear and be afraid, and will never again do such an evil thing among you.” (Deuteronomy 19:20 NASB95)

 

My son tells me that there were a number of things he didn’t do when he was younger. He avoided them because he was genuinely afraid of what I’d do to him if he misbehaved. “My dad would kill me” was not such a bad motivation for avoiding certain behavior. Especially when there is a lack of understanding in the child, and the big issue is just to avoid harmful behavior. Of course I wasn’t ever going to actually kill (or even injure) him (shhhh!) but it didn’t hurt to be afraid of me at least a little. Enough for him to avoid straying into destructive actions.

 

I love my kids and do not want them to learn the hard way. I want them to avoid natural consequences. So I develop other, perhaps more immediate and painful, artificial consequences to help them learn how to make good choices. A swat on the butt as a reminder to obey Dad is much better than getting run over by a car. The getting run over thing tends to be a one-time only learning experience. God does the same for us.

 

7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7 KJV)

 

Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins? (Lamentations 3:37–39, ESV)

 

God creates evil in the sense that there are bad things that happen if we don’t listen to Him. He does it because He loves us, and wants us to see the cost of moving away from Him before it’s too late. If a little bit of true terror will help me choose correctly, it is much better than learning too late that my choice was wrong. He wants us to fear Him above any person, teaching, or situation that might tempt us to abandon trust and obedience. It is not a blind fear that He wants, but it is still a fear that is tinged partly with terror as well as respect and reverence.

 

14I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. (Ecclesiastes 3:14 KJV)

 

12“You are not to say, ‘It is a conspiracy!’ In regard to all that this people call a conspiracy, And you are not to fear what they fear or be in dread of it. 13“It is the Lord of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread. (Isaiah 8:12-13 NASB95)

 

Fear of Him should override fear of anything else. If we are His kids, we do not fear destruction or rejection. But it’s good to be afraid of what He can and will do if we are not on His good side. If you are not His kid, you have every right to be terrified when He comes for you in judgment. One way or the other, sooner or later, fear of Him will impress itself on everyone. Better to feel it now and move closer to Him than to feel it when it’s too late.

 

From Whole Bible Christianity chapter 2 Fear

Fear of God

Another selection from ‘Whole Bible Christianity’
Our one God has a scary side that we don’t talk much about anymore.
20Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” (Exodus 20:20 NASB95)

The Scriptures have many admonitions for His people (actually people everywhere) to “fear” Him. The Law was written down so that His people would learn fear of Him (Deuteronomy 4:10, 14:23, 17:19, 31:13). “Don’t be afraid” here means believers don’t have to fear destruction at His approach, but we should keep a little of it so “that the fear of Him remain(s) with you” (basically the same Hebrew word). Fear motivates even the most reluctant.

Jesus is not a pacifist. He was meek at His incarnation because that was what the Father wanted from Him at that time. When He comes back, it will not be with roses and chocolates. He will bring a sharp sword and a rod of iron (Revelation 19:14-16, 21). The Word will come back with His army, speaking God’s Word (the sword) and crushing resistance (rod of iron – Psalm 2:9). His rod and staff (the Word of God) will comfort His people (Psalm 23:4) and He will destroy iniquity (lawlessness). The Law will again go forth from Zion.

Lots of teachers try to soft-soap this concept. They tone down the terror part of fear and play up the ‘reverence’ and ‘respect’ aspects. All of these are part of the fear of God, but especially the terror part. Not a blind, unreasoning terror that overwhelms us. Just a healthy terror of knowing exactly what God can and will do to evildoers. “Fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

There is nothing wrong with being a little terrified of God. Usually it’s only people with faith who are capable of being terrified anyway. People with seared consciences aren’t generally afraid enough. A part of His being can and does terrify creation. If you’ve ever been in a fierce thunderstorm or an earthquake, the kind where you have to change your shorts afterwards, you know what I mean. It would behoove us to pay more attention to that part, in addition to expressing the reverence and respect He deserves.