I Samuel 9-12
There are some things I am afraid of. I’m afraid of guns. I’m afraid of policemen. I am afraid of dogs. I’m afraid of water. I’m afraid of falling off a cliff.
But I love to shoot. My nephew, whom I love, is a cop. We’ve got several dogs in our family. I swim, and I go boating. And I love exploring nature in all terrains.
My fears effect how I live. But it doesn’t stop me from living. My fear of guns has me treat them carefully, and aim them purposefully at the target, because I know a bullet shot in the wrong direction can kill. My fear of cops has me driving the speed limit, because I know that they have the authority to ticket me. I don’t approach a snarling dog because I know a bite from a dog will hurt, but I pet dogs with wagging tails. I wear a life jacket, and don’t swim in the ocean alone or in a storm, because I don’t want to drown. And I never run up to the brink of a cliff, because a fall could kill me.
My fears make me aware of the danger and cause me to respect those things I fear.
I Samuel 12:24 tells us to fear the Lord “for consider the great things he has done for you.”
Do I fear God? Absolutely! He is Holy. He is a fierce Judge. He is Almighty Creator. I’ve read in Scripture what He thinks about sin. And I believe Him when He says sinners go to hell.
But does my fear of God keep me from loving Him, from spending time with Him every day, from trusting Him. Absolutely NOT!
There are many places in the Bible that tell us not to fear. But I can’t find anywhere where it says not to fear God. Don’t fear the future. Don’t fear Satan. Don’t fear what man can do to us. But I think the Bible clearly warns us that God is someone to be feared.
And loved. And trusted. And respected. God wants us to live life, to enjoy His creation, to walk boldly and share the Gospel. But I think it’s pretty clear that we need to have that healthy fear of Him who is our Judge, who demands holiness of us.
My fear of God effects how I live. It makes me aware of the penalty of disobeying Him, and causes me to respect Him and His Word. But it also gives me the awareness of just how amazing is my walk with Him. This God who is to be feared loves me. He gave Himself for me. He is my constant companion, my strength, my very life.