Monday, April 23, 2012 (All day)
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[Steve Myers] Here's a question that came in. Why does a loving God tell us to fear Him? So let's think about that for a moment. Let's think about this biblical concept of fear. You know, how does fearing God, which is mentioned so oftentimes in the Bible, how does that fit with God telling us that He's a loving God? It seems almost to contradict itself. But, does it really? Now, there's an interesting passage in the book of Ecclesiastes, Ecclesiastes 12:13 and it makes that very point. Here's what it says. Let's hear the conclusion of the whole matter. "Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man." Now when you think about Ecclesiastes it almost seems opposite of what it says in 1 John 4:8 where it says, "God is love." So when you talk about this concept of fear, what kind of fear is that talking about?
Now, certainly God is an awesome God. And He is a God that is to be feared, that is a scary kind of action when you think about it. God is so awesome and it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God. When we're not right with God, there is something to be fearful of. And yet at the same time, the kind of fear that's talked about here in Ecclesiastes is not just that "shaking in your boots" kind of fear. This word can also mean an awe and a respect. It can mean all of those things. It can mean reverence and honor. And so when you begin to think about fear, it is good to honor and respect and awe God, to hold Him in the highest esteem because that's what this kind of fear is all about. It rounds out the full meaning, not just that we should be fearful of God, but that we have to hold Him in the utmost of respect.
Now when you think about that, go back to the book of Deuteronomy and that gives us that whole concept of what God would like for us to have as we think of Him. Deuteronomy 10:12 talks about this. Let's notice what it says here. It says, "What does the Lord your God require of you? But to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul." And you see that rounds out our perspective of what fear is all about. When we put that with the concept of awe and honor and loyalty and respect, then we begin to see the full picture of what God wants for us.
Yes, we should fear God. But when we're right with Him, we should hold him in the utmost of respect and honor and hold Him in awe. And then we can begin to have a right relationship with Him. So just don't fear God, but hold Him in the deepest of respect.
That's BT Daily . We'll see you next time.