“Words taught by the Spirit” (1Cor.2:13)
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“Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Ps.2:11)
THE FEAR OF GOD
When people speak on “the fear of God” or on “the holy fear” they understand the affectionate reverence or “the godly fear” which is due to God! They are right. That is what I believed for quite a long time… But, later, I understood that these words do not reflect fully the notion of the expression of the “fear of God” as it is used in the Bible. We must, also, be afraid of God when we sin and do not repent because “our God is a consuming fire…” (Heb.12:29 and Ps.73:18-19). The Lord Jesus Christ did not declare in vain: “I tell you, No: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” (Lu.13:3, 5). Paul, the apostle, has not written in vain: “And lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and that I shall mourn many which have sinned already, and have not repented of the uncleanness and fornication and lasciviousness which they have committed.” (2Cor.12:21).
A passage which had deeply touched my heart in the past was: “Who knows the power of your anger? even according to your fear, so is your wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom” (Ps.90:11-12). Then, I wrote: “Heavenly Father, teach me to number my days aright, that I may apply my heart unto wisdom and understand the fear of the Lord. Help me, Lord, to use well my time, the time that you have lent me before eternity, and apply my heart to acquire the fear of the Lord. This will be my search for wisdom!” I believe that the Lord answered my prayer in a strange and unexpected way: As I was reading or rather as I was intensely and repeatedly proofreading the Bible in modern Greek in the context of the work of its transcription in my computer and was seeing either the judgments or the blessings that followed a word, an act or a thought of the men about whom the Bible speaks, my soul was seized by a deep sense of godly fear. I was taught the fear of the Lord (Ps.34:11), in the same way the Police teaches car-drivers the fear and prudence by means of images of accidents along the highways…
(By the way, I think it is useful to mention, at this point, that I did that work of transcription of the Bible in three versions: Accented, Monotonic and Unaccented, in the early nineties. When that work was finished, it was distributed through the Online Bible Program at the beginning on floppy disks, MS DOS, then on floppy disks MS WINDOWS and finally on the Internet in three versions. Later, it was published on CDs and finally on DVDs with images in the form of slide shows. Their distribution was done and is done free of any charge.)
The importance of God’s fear
The first thing I did when I understood the importance of the fear of God was to ask myself whether I myself suffer or may suffer similar consequences from a bad or erroneous choice, word, act or thought. That is why I prayed God to show me how He sees me – who I am in His eyes – a request that I repeat even today: “That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more” (Job 34:32). Let me mention a sample of negative and positive cases from the Bible:
Moses: I saw the way the Lord treated him when he made a mistake. He was angry with him (Dt.1:37) because instead of speaking to that rock, as he was ordered to do, he struck the rock with his staff twice. Also, because he spoke to the people as if they, Moses and Aaron, and not God, were going to make the rock bring out water. There was no mention of the name of the Lord for the miracle! (Nu.20:8-12). God deprived him of the blessing to enter into the Promised Land. Was Moses an unbeliever or a wicked man? However, God was so austere with him! He did not obey exactly God’s instructions. I humbly confess that I do not understand fully the seriousness of his act and God’s severity. The fact that I do not understand them, however, makes me to be more fearful…
Israel’s act of unbelief at Kadeshbarnea: For an act of unbelief at Kadesh, the people of Israel erred for forty years in the desert and did not enter God’s rest! Let us therefore fear, lest we miss “a promise being left also for us of entering into His rest, any of us should seem to come short of it”… (Heb.4:1-6).
Nadab and Abihu, Aaron’s sons, were put to death because each took his censer, added incense and put ‘strange fire’, unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to His command (Lev.10:1).
Different kings of Israel, how severely they were treated by God, who at the moment of danger, asked for the help of other heathen kings and/or concluded alliances with other wicked kings or sent to inquire of the gods of other nations to find out whether they were going to be cured from their sicknesses etc. (2Ki.1:2-8)!
David, who suffered – in grace, because God had forgiven him of his sin and was not put to death – a punishment four times greater for his sin… (2Sam.12:5-13). We should not forget that David was afraid of God that day when the LORD poured his wrath on Uzza. David did not dare bring the ark of God in his home (1Chr.13:11-12).
The officer, counselor of the king who was trampled to death in the gate by the people because he did not believe that God could give food and deliverance to the people under siege (2Ki.7:1-20).
Esau, who found no place of repentance, although he sought it carefully with tears, because for one morsel of meat he sold his birthright (Heb.12:16).
Nebuchadnezzar, who ‘paid’ with seven years of craziness an arrogant thought… (Dan.4:30-33).
Zachariah, stayed dumb for months… because he did not believe the words of the angel which would be fulfilled “in their season” (Lu.1:18-20).
Ananias and Sapphira! What a horrible end did they have because they told a lie and pretended to be spiritual! A lie, which, in our eyes, is but a simple lie, but in God’s eyes it was a lie to the Holy Spirit! (Ac.5:1-11).
The people of Israel how was chastised for his sins and mainly for the word it said: “… His blood be on us, and on our children” (Mt.27:25 and 23:35). The people “paid” it along the past centuries. And in the 20th century, with the holocaust that Hitler committed. God will judge us for every idle word… but he will also reward us even for a cup of cold water given to one of his little disciples just because he is His disciple… Who can, therefore, despise the day of small things? (Mt.12: 36-37; 10:42 and Zec.4:10).
Abraham: Abraham’s godly fear led him to greater faith and brought him to an act of obedience without precedent: To accept and take the decision to sacrifice his only begotten son (Ge.22:12). As a result of Abraham’s godly choice sprang from him, who was as good as dead, so many descendants as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable. He became the father of faith and of all the faithful (Heb.11:8-12).
The midwives: And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, and did not kill the new-born male babies, as they were ordered by Pharaoh, that He made them houses (Ex.1:21)
Joseph did not dare to commit a great wickedness and sin against God, though young and tempted in such a provocative way by the Egyptian’s wife! He feared God! (Gen.39:9). And he did know that! He said it one day to his own brothers who had come to Egypt for buying food! (Gen.42:18). Then I said in my heart: “We sin against You, Father, for things of much less importance. How is then Your fear in us? Help us, Lord, we pray!”
Phinehas, for his act of zeal, justice and holy indignation against evil has remained as an eternal memorial… He was given a reward: A covenant of peace and of everlasting priesthood… (Num.25:7-13).
Nehemiah, who, though a governor, did not ever want to be chargeable unto the people; he acted this way because of the fear of God. Godly fear and piety go together! What a mentality! May we, Lord, become men who are not chargeable or oppressive neither to our neighbors nor to the members of our family. May we become men of such spiritual dignity! Oh, if we had such politicians! (Neh.5:15). God examines the heart… But, let us not forget that there are people who do what is right, but not with a perfect heart… (2Chr.25:2). May our Lord Jesus, help us to be careful the way we live and build… (1Cor.3:10).
Job: The source of blamelessness, uprightness and of shunning evil of that man of God, as well as the sensation that he was living in God’s presence and under His eyes, was but the fear of God in his heart! (Job 1:1, 8). May such a character be formed in us also!
Cornelius: The source of the piety of this devout man, of his continuous prayers and his alms to the people was but the fear of God (Ac.10:2). May the same attitude be reproduced in us, Lord!
The early Christians, who walked in the fear of the Lord, were edified and the Church grew in the comfort of the Holy Spirit (Ac.9:31). The fear of the Lord in their heart did not only constitute the beginning of their wisdom and piety but also of their continuation. When we obey God’s will in the Lord’s fear, then the Holy Spirit comes to help us to develop…
After all these above-mentioned bad and good causes of good or bad choices respectively, and having in mind all the relevant WARNINGS for those who do not fear God as well as the wonderful PROMISES on behalf of those who fear God, I prayed our heavenly Father and wrote, inter alia: “Do not allow, Holy Father, that I am ever overcome of evil, but that I overcome evil with good. Let your fear be in me so that I hate sin! Put Your fear in me and in my family so that we may prosper spiritually! Lord, do not ever allow that peace and prosperity reign in my home without the fear of God. Lord, help me so that where I rule, I rule justly, ruling in the fear of God, especially in the context of my family. Make me, Lord, a man full of Your fear so that I may heed all my ways, my acts and my words, so that I may not be reproached by my enemies or by members of my family and give any offense to anyone and in nothing that the ministry be blamed; on the contrary, that in all things be approved as a faithful steward of divine truths… Lord, let my godly fear make me a diligent and faithful man… May my godly fear and my confidence in You be transmitted to others! Father! Even the simple hearing of your Word makes people fear You. Help, therefore, me and my family to study daily and diligently your Word! Father, having such excellent commandments and promises, help us to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
The essence of the fear of God
The fear of God is described as:
- a) “Hatred of evil”: “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the fraudulent mouth, do I hate” (Pr.8:13);
- b) “Wisdom”: “… Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding” (Job 28:28; 1:7). In addition, he who has the fear of God has a good understanding or a sound reasoning, given that: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments…” (Ps.111:10).
Consequently, the wise and intelligent man is the one who, because of the fear of the Lord in his heart, hates evil and departs from all kind of evil. The immediately above mentioned verses and certain other scriptures (Pr.15:16 and Isa.33:6), as well as the general spirit of the Bible prove that the greatest treasure of the believer is the fear of God which generates wisdom and knowledge, which, in their turn, lead to salvation, push man to purification (Ps.19:9) and make him agreeable to God who fills him with His Holy Spirit. It is better to have less material goods, but more fear of God, peace and stability. May the Lord, make stronger this principle in us! The Word of God goes further: It says that “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death” (Pr.14:27). How many times, prudence, which is the fruit of godly fear, has protected us from the snares of Satan and of physical death? Yes, but we must humbly confess that it is not our prudence that has always protected us, but it is God’s protecting hand of love for us foolish people who do very often foolish actions… Let us stop and reflect on our past for a while… and on God’s interventions…
The fear of God is not optional: it is enjoined
Our Heavenly Father has commanded us:
- “You shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and you shall serve him, and join to him” (De.13:4);
- “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ec.12:13).
The verses in question tell me that I must: a) walk after God and not before Him…; b) cleave to Him; c) keep His commandments; d) serve Him, e) glorify Him and praise Him and f) finally, fear Him and tremble before Him. Many are the scriptures which exhort man to tremble at His Word and at His commandments. May the Lord God help us to live with all our heart, according to His desire and to His commandments!
Consequently, godly fear leads to faithfulness; delivers from the fear of man and keeps all other Christian virtues “running”! The fear of God gives man the necessary wisdom in order to repent and his repentance prepares the ground for the installation and the functioning of faith, and faith adds one Christian virtue after the other (2Pet.1:5-7). It means that the Holy Spirit acts mightily in the believer’s life manifesting His spiritual gifts on the one hand and producing, on the other hand, the fruit of the Spirit that is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness… (Gal.5:22). God gives His Spirit to those that obey to Him by the repentance, by the faith and by their confidence in His character! (Ac.5:32). Do you remember one of the two malefactors who were crucified with Jesus? His spiritual eyes were opened and he understood who Jesus was, the heavenly King, just because, in godly fear, he rebuked the other malefactor, saying: “Do not you fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing amiss”. Jesus was dying on the cross and the malefactor said to Jesus: “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom”!!! He was the very first to enter Paradise!!! So, we see that the usefulness of the fear of God is great in every way!
Let us also mention, at this point, what two famous Christian writers declared about the fear of God: “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and they that lack the beginning have neither middle nor end.” (John Bunyan) and “He who fears God has nothing else to fear.” (C. H. Spurgeon).
The opposite of the fear of God
On the contrary, unbelievers who do not fear God are afraid of other gods (2Ki.17:38) and are fearful and tremble there where there is no reason to be in fear (Re.21:8; Ps.53:5). In addition, they fear other men, even the annoying and threatening voice of members of their family. May the Lord protect us and not permit that we be “driven” by their voices and do things that are disagreeable to God! May He help us, on the contrary, to do all that is useful for our fellow men and the members of our family for the salvation of their soul and for their “real” prosperity! Let never the fear of men have the upper hand on us! (1Sam.15:24 and Joh.9:22). Usually, unbelievers are afraid of God’s judgments. Fortunately, the wrath of God is not intended for those who have humbly accepted the grace of God (Isa.2:19; Lu.21:26; Re.6:16-17; Heb.10:27). “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” (Rom.8:1).
Another thing that makes people be in a state of unholy fear is a guilty conscience! How true! Guilty conscience, the “nakedness” of our conscience, pushes us to hide in the circumstances of life or in the “darkness” or in isolation. The fear of the light which will make their works manifest takes the upper hand! In the book of Genesis 3:10, we read: “And he said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (See also Gen.4:14). How true the Word of God is when it declares: “There is no peace for the wicked” (Isa.48:22; 57:21) and that “The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted” (Pr.10:24). What a promise, what a blessing! Then, our desires, our holy desires, will be given us! Thank you, Lord!!! (Pr.10:24). And how comforting is His Word, which says:
- “But whoever listens to me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil” (Pr.1:33).
- “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps.27:1; Rom.8:31-35; Isa.8:12)
- “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mt.10:28).
So, we conclude that when we trust God, we are preserved from unholy fear… The Bible confirms that the transgression of the wicked proves that there is no fear of God before his eyes (Ps.36:1).
Additional reasons we should fear God
The reasons why we should fear God have already been mentioned, but I would like to add some more:
- We do not have to do with a “little God” or with a “little Jesus” but with “… the LORD our God who is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regards not persons, nor takes reward (De.10:12-17).
- The creation of the world: God is the Creator of the world, of the universe and by him all things consist! (Col.1:16-17) Think of it!
- His love for us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Joh.3:16); and
- The forgiveness of our sins: “But there is forgiveness with you, that you may be feared” (Ps.130:4). How is it possible not to fear Him? What are we going to become if He does not forgive our sins?
Make us, Father, we pray, in the name of our Lord Jesus, what You want us to be!
Relation between godly fear, service and worship
The Bible says: “Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD listened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought on his name” (Mal.3:16). It also says that there where two or three gather together in the Name of the Lord Jesus in godly fear and willing to honor Him, He is there in their midst (Mt.18:20); HE is there to listen to them and to bless them! What an honor to be visited by Him and be blessed by Him! These two scriptures as well as many others tell us that the church, the church life of Christians is not a monologue but a rotating dialogue… (1Cor.14:29-32).
The Bible commands: “Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Ps.2:11-12). We understand from this verse that the joy of the saints and their service for Jesus Christ are and should be accompanied by a feeling of fear and of trembling, as it was the case of the women who visited the sepulcher of Jesus and who, being seized by fear and joy (Lu.24:5) departed quickly from the sepulcher and, with fear and great joy ran to serve Him by bringing the news to the disciples (Mt.28:8). I do believe that, when their words appeared to the disciples as idle tales and did not believe them, they must have been seized again of fear, trembling and sorrow for the account of the disciples. May our Heavenly Father inspire us with the spirit of joy, of fear and of trembling for the eternal presence of the Resurrected One!
These Bible verses and the fact that we are before the Lord and in His audience bring to my mind the sad feeling I have when I see Christians – I do say Christians, men, women, official and unofficial, and youth, and not just sympathizers or unbelievers – who during the Church services or worship hours appear before the Lord either with indecent apparel or chewing-gum or behaving as if in a football match. I was wondering: Would that be their way if they were invited by the Prime Minister or the President or the King of their Country? How would they present themselves and how should they behave? How much more before the King of kings and the Lord of lords? The Lord our God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints and to be in reverence of all them that are about Him (Ps.89:7). It is true that the Lord, in the eyes of the saints, is greatly to be feared and to be held in reverence, but in the eyes of the great mass of the so-called Christians, He is always the “little Jesus” just as during the Christmas season.
And what can be said about seeing the youth of the church dancing, in an organized way, dances with clearly worldly movements pretending that they are “spiritual dances”. They compare them with the spontaneous and full of joy and reverence dance of King David when he was bringing the ark of God! And what should we say about ballets danced by ballerinas or future dancers and pretending that their Christian artistic activity is in line with Scripture and the approval of the Holy Spirit!!!
David’s dance was purely spontaneous and spiritual, springing out of the abundance of the joy of his heart for the ark of the Lord. He was a man totally devoted to God’s will and glory. He was a man and he was not a trained “dancer”. Such arguments water down the Word of God and make the church deviate when such activities take place in the context of worship of the church! The church is THE HOUSE OF PRAYER, of worship and of fellowship (Isa.56:7). The Word of God is against strange, unauthorized or profane “fire” before the Lord, which He has not commanded us (Lev.10:1) … Clapping of hands by the congregation does not mean God’s approval… The fact that many like dances in the Church does not mean that they are spiritually minded or that dancers IN the Church are Biblically supported. If people want to see ballets, etc. let them go to other places, but not IN the Church of God.
Does the Bible say that our Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples danced? Have they ever seen the Apostles or the first Christians, who have turned the world upside down, with their preaching on repentance, faith and the resurrection of Christ from the dead (Acts, Chapters 2-3, 1Corinthians, Chapters 1-2, 2Corinthians, Chapters 1-2 etc., etc.) organizing such spectacles? Have they ever found anything about dancing IN the Old Testament Temple, IN the synagogues and IN the early Christian Churches? Such things take place in modern Churches where the worldly spirit has invaded them… Such Churches are doomed sooner or later to spiritual blindness. Have they ever heard that such artistic dances have contributed to spiritual revivals?
The best way of pleasing God and of worshipping our Lord is to obey His voice in fear and trembling; the best way to please the Lord is to worship Him in spirit and in truth; the best way is to offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name and never to forget to do good and to communicate (Heb.13:15-16).
The only thing that is sure and certain is that such activities become a source of offense and provide “food” for damaging, if not destructive criticism… The Bible says: “Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died” (Ro.14:15). The Bible also says: “Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak” (Rom.14:20-21). Also, “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble” (1Cor.8:13). Furthermore, it is written: “…woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Mt.18:6-7; Lu.17:1-2). We have not the “liberty” to offend people who come from different backgrounds or are not mature in the faith and upset their weak conscience, which might be either defiled or emboldened to do inappropriate things! (1Cor.8.13; Mt.18:6-7; Lu.17:1-2; Rom.14:13; 14:20-21 etc.).
We conclude, therefore, that “godly fear” is necessary for worshiping God. One of God’s children said: “But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple” (Ps.5:7). Yes, Lord, we are aware that it is thanks to the multitude of your mercy that we enter into the edifice of your grace (your salvation), into your house (your church) and we will enter into your kingdom. Help us, Lord, therefore, to live each and every moment of our life, seized by a profound feeling of godly fear. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire”. Amen! There is but one way to serve Him acceptably: Show Him our gratitude for the kingdom that we have inherited, for the infinite grace that we have received as well as through a holy life (Ps.116:12-14). It is not sufficient to organize in the church a beautiful service, very presentable and agreeable to assist; it is reverence and holy fear that counts…
Relation between godly fear and sin
Godly fear is not only necessary for the service of God, but it is also necessary to avoid sin. It is written: “… Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that you sin not” (Ex.20:20). Yes, “… that you sin not”! Why not sin? So that the infinite love of God may bless them and do them good! Those who do not have His fear before their eyes have the tendency to sin… and it is the fear of God that makes us avoid sin! (See also Ps.36:1 and Pr.16:6). Let His fear hinder us from sinning and grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit! (Eph.4:30 and Thes.5:19). The father, in the parable of the prodigal son, was always waiting him impatiently and had no bitterness in his heart against his prodigal son, but it was necessary that his prodigal son come to himself and say to his father: “I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight, and am no more worthy to be called your son” (Luc 15:17, 21). Then the tender relation between the father and the son was re-established!
Godly fear is also necessary to lead a righteous government: “… He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God” (2Sam.23:3). I understand, therefore, that he who rules in the fear of God rules necessarily with justice, because he is just on account of his godly fear. May the Lord help us to rule in our family and behave in His Church with justice and in the fear of God. And not only that, but it is also indispensable for impartial administration of justice. May all the judgments we pronounce be not for men, but for HIM, because HE is with us in the judgment! May He give us abundantly His fear into our heart so that we may take heed on our acts and act faithfully and with a perfect heart (2Chr.19:6-9). With such an “arsenal” of excellent commandments and promises, filling our heart and by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to “enjoy” the cleansing of ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2Cor.7:1). We must, however, admit that there are people who do what is right, not in order to sin against God and avoid punishment, but out of love and respect either towards God or towards their parents. Very typical is the case of the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab who wanted to respect the desire/prohibition that their deceased father had commanded them never to drink wine (Jer.35:1-16).
Let me open, at this point, a short parenthesis: God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son and the Holy Spirit should be the only object of our godly fear and trembling and not the «saints» or their dry bones or their icons!!! This is why it is written: “Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isa.8:13). Do we sanctify our Lord Jesus Christ when we turn our heart to other human beings such as the dead saints and even to the Mother of Jesus, to save us and to bless us or to give us grace or to help us in our needs as they were omnipresent and all powerful? Were they crucified for our sins? The spiritual leaders as well as the believers, have they never read that there is one God, and ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the man CHRIST JESUS? (2Tim.2:5). The spiritual leaders, as well as the believers, have they never read what Jesus declared: “… Truly, truly, I say to you, Whatever you shall ask the Father IN MY NAME, he will give it you”? (Joh.16:23). Such leaders are men, who “hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom.1:18). Such spiritual leaders shut up the kingdom of heaven against men. They neither go in themselves, neither suffer those that are entering to go in (Mt.23:13-14). Unfortunately, they belong to that category of spiritual leaders that Paul named as “deceiving, and being deceived”. Those who will resist and reprove them – because they want to live godly in Christ Jesus – will suffer persecution directly or indirectly (2Tim.3:12-13).
The Bible says: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1Pe.3:15). Such an attitude will lead us, first, to defend ourselves with gentleness and respect toward every man (De.14:23; Jos.4:24; Pr.23:17) and second be able to help our children and other people to fear no-one else but God alone and acquire a listening ear! (Ps.34:11). From the first day that I understood the importance of the fear of God in my life, I have not stopped praying God to put His fear in my children’s heart…
A misunderstanding concerning the origin of godly fear
It is written that the fear of God in our heart comes from God! Here is the proof: “And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me” (Jer.32:39-40). Alleluia! Isaiah said: “LORD, you will ordain peace for us: for you also have worked all our works in us” (26:12) and Paul, the apostle, proclaimed: “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph.1:11).Then, someone might object saying: “Then, man is not responsible if he is deprived of the fear of God!” No, absolutely not! He is responsible not only for the lack of the fear of God in his heart, but he is also responsible for the lack of all the other divine virtues in his life! It is written, and what is written remains:
- “… How often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!” (Mat.23:37);
- “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Rom.1:28);
- “And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart” (Jer.29:13).
Conclusion: God will put His fear in us as well everything else that contributes to our salvation and edification PROVIDED we desire it with all our heart and consent that He puts that in us!!! So, it is for our good and that of our children, as well as for guaranteeing us an intimate and eternal relation with Him that He puts His fear in us! HE the author and HE the guarantor!
CONCLUSION: Happy end for all those who fear God
- God takes pleasure in them that fear Him and hope in His mercy; the eye of the LORD is on them that fear him, on them that hope in his mercy (Ps.147:11; Ps.33:18)
- He pities those that fear him (Ps.103:13); that they are accepted by Him (Ac.10:35);
- The mercy for those who fear the Lord is everlasting and his righteousness to children’s children (Ps.103:17; Pr.14:26; Lu.1:50);
- The LORD blesses those who fear the LORD, and delight greatly in his commandments (Ps.112: 1; Ps.115:13);
- He is a help and a shield of those who fear Him (Ps.115:11);
- Only by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil (Pr.16:6);
- He pays attention to all the discussions of those who fear and honor His name and that a book of remembrance is written before them (Mal.3:16);
- Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses (Ps.25:12); that means that he is led by the Spirit of God and that he is a true son of God (Rom.8:14)
- He fulfills the desire of those that fear him, hears their cry, saves them (Ps.145:19) and
- He prolongs the days of those who fear Him (Pr.10:27). Amen!