A study of the Biblical concept of what it means to “fear God”
There’s something wonderful about being with young children at Disneyland or at the zoo or during the Christmas season. Wonder and awe. Amazement and delight. The great thing about little ones, though, is that they feel those same emotions every day over the smallest discoveries, the tiniest creatures, and the most insignificant experiences. Accompanying these feelings of joy and excitement, there are often some other feelings like concern, anxiety, and even fear. Being overwhelmed and perhaps helpless is often part of the emotion that we call “awestruck”. The little one grabs on to your hand tighter or asks to be held in your arms at the same time that the excitement and thrill of the moment is occurring.
Isn’t that similar to what God is asking us to experience when He commands us to fear Him? As His child, He would like us to respond to Him with the sense of awe that He deserves, with a sense of wonder and amazement that we often experience as we look at His creation. While the created world is for our delight and pleasure, it is the Creator that is most worthy of our honor and praise. Right along with the amazement and astonishment that we feel when we think of God’s love and mercy, His grace and forgiveness, His gift of eternal life, will come a sense of respect and reverence, of humility and dependence and yes – even fear. Real fear, not of punishment, but of failing to please the One Who loves us without limits and knows us completely.
In Psalm 34: 11 God says “Come, My children, and listen to Me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD.” This is your invitation to join with us as we study what this might mean for you and for me!