Does God want us to fear him?
Hello SPV Family,
Patricia here - A couple of weeks ago I went on vacation to North Carolina. The first two mornings I sat by the water and drank my coffee, it was peaceful and the sun off the water was gorgeous. That morning sitting outside I realized I had a visitor, a 7 ft alligator, right there on the bank of the water hissing at me. I must have been in his territory. As a child, I had bad dreams about alligators, and to say I feared them is exactly correct. I sat inside the rest of the visit and drank my coffee behind the sliding glass door.
I was pretty sure that the alligator didn’t want to get up close to me anymore than I wanted to make friends with it. But my heart was racing and I had to google how fast an alligator runs. Could I outrun the alligator? Well, let me tell you, I was not going to even put it to the test and try.
This made me think about what we fear? Maybe a better question is what should we fear? Does God want us to be afraid of him, what does it mean, when he commands Israel to "fear the Lord your God?"
Moses came face to face with God and was not afraid of God, but in awe of God.
Although we see in the book of Exodus when God appeared to the Israelites from Mt. Sinai they were very much afraid.
Exodus 19: 16-20 On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. As the blast of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God thundered his reply.
What do you think you would feel if you were at Mt. Sinai seeing the fire, the mountain shaking and hearing the ram’s horn as God spoke to the people? Would you be afraid of God? Would you tremble in fear or run to a place of safety? Does God want us to fear him? Do you fear that God would stop loving you because of something you did? Do we see God out of our own woundedness? What does God want from his people?
Deuteronomy 10:12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord Your God and live in a way that pleases Him and love him and serve him with all your heart. God had Moses place boundaries around the mountain to protect the people from the power of the presence of the Lord God Almighty. When God says that you should fear the Lord, we need to look at what that means.
I love what the amplified bible says in Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear [and worship] the Lord your God [with awe-filled reverence and profound respect], to walk [that is, to live each and every day] in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul [your choices, your thoughts, your whole being].
God doesn't want us to fear Him, he wants us to love him so much that we worship him, and live each and every day serving God with all our heart and soul. God does not say you have to be perfect or without sin. At Mt. Sinai the Israelites trembled with fear at the sight and sound of God. At Mt. Calvary Jesus freely gave his life to reconcile all mankind back to the Father. The God of Gods, the creator of all things, the King of Kings, all Mighty God asks us to love Him. Will you give him your heart and reverence? Will you give him your love? Amen! they cried. Blessing and glory and majesty and splendor and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and might [be ascribed] to our God to the ages and ages (forever and ever, throughout the eternities of the eternities)! Amen! (So be it!)
Revelation 7:12 I had a healthy fear for the alligator and chose not to sit in his territory, on the other hand I have a healthy love for the Father and I choose to sit in his presence and worship him.
In reverence of my God,