What daring of man can, now or in the future, be more foul than to deny fear to God, charity to good fellow-countrymen, honour to those placed in higher authority (for that is their due, granted, of course, that there is no harm to the faith): to break faith with man and God: to cast away fear of heaven and earth, and to be ruled each man by his own contrivances and lusts?
- Gildas, The Ruin of Britain, British, 6th century
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
- Romans 3.18
I’m sure you’ve seen one of those “No Fear” window stickers on a car or truck. Or their colloquial equivalent, “Ain’t Skeerd”. That boast is, I assume, meant to engender a certain amount of fear and respect toward the driver. “No Fear”, so watch out.
What a laugh.
Not afraid? Of anything? How about death (Heb. 2.15)?
I’m pretty sure I could find a few things those guys might be afraid of – and at least one they should. Certain people may not fear God now, but the day is coming when they will plead with the mountains to hide them from the wrath of His Son.
What about Christians? What excuse do we have for downplaying the fear of God?
Paul explains that the worst of sinners don’t fear God (Rom. 3.18). He commands us to pursue holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor. 7.1). Jesus said it was in our best interest to fear God (Matt. 10.28). What does God require of us, Moses asked, but to fear Him (Deut. 10.12)? The fear of God, the psalmist reminds us, is the beginning of wisdom (Ps. 111.10). No fear, no wisdom.
But fearing God is not something the average believer spends much time nurturing or experiencing. Indeed, most of us have little sense of what it means to fear Him, or why we should, or of the benefits such fear of God can bring.
We’re all about God being our loving Father and Jesus being that Friend Who sticks closer than a brother. Many believers consider fearing God to be unbecoming of the followers of Jesus Christ.
But He is God Almighty, the Ultimate Ruiner, Who can bring our lives to wrack and trouble without lifting a finger. That He doesn’t – even though we surely deserve it – is simply a measure of His unfathomable love and boundless mercy (Rom. 8.1).
But we must not take advantage. We love God and enjoy feeling completely secure in His Presence; however, we are commanded to fear Him, to maintain a healthy respect for what this God can and rightly should do to wretched sinners like you and me.
We should fear the discipline God can bring against us when we stray from His path, because, as we might expect, it’s never pleasant (Heb. 12.3-11). We must fear Him with gratitude and praise. Fear Him in the peace of His love. Fear to venture into His holy Presence except with the greatest reverence and most sincere worship.
Fear God, and you will love Him more, and love your neighbors more as well.
Refuse to fear Him, and you will end up like the worst of sinners.
Ain't skeerd of God?
Jesus would tell you, “Get skeerd.”
1. Why does it just make sense to maintain a healthy fear of God?
2. We fear God because we know God – Who He is, that He is holy, and that He hates sin. How can maintaining such fear be of benefit for our walk with and work for the Lord?
Psalm 2.11, 12 (Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High)
Rejoice with fear in Jesus’ grace, and worship before His exalted face.
Beware His anger and judgment grim: How blessed are all who rest in Him!
I do love You, Lord, and I know I should fear You. Show Yourself to me with power and grace, and help me love to fear You as I should, so that I…
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T. M. Moore, Principal
All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.