now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask 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.” (Deuteronomy 10:12)
Imagine for a second someone who uses the earth as his footstool; one who is All-mighty, All-knowing and Ever-present, what that person would look like. Awesome, wouldn’t he? You would definitely be fearful of the extraordinary stature of that person but not necessarily in the sense of being frightened stiff or afraid. The right term would be ‘reverence’. We revere that person in His holiness and in his glory. When we are aware of his might, what He can do, achieve or accomplish as an infinite being. As finite beings we should dread Him. God is so powerful that with His breath “He blew on the wind” and parted the Red Sea to permit the Children of Israel cross to the other bank.
The Bible teaches that when we reverence such a One it is a wise thing to do. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” (Proverbs 1:7 a) We take cognisance of who He is and this knowledge governs our actions and our behaviour. Then we will heed His word more often, keep His words in our hearts, listen to His counsel and walk according to His precepts. Why? Because there is no shadow of turning with Him. He is faultless, sinless and unchangeable. Be certain that He desires everything for our good. The apostle Paul puts it this way “... being confident of this that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
“Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.” (Psalm 25:12) All the prophets of the Old Testament feared [respected, revered] the Lord God and honoured His word to the extent that they were bold enough to stand before the most powerful earthly kings to deliver God’s warnings to them. Such was the case with Moses sent to Pharaoh of Egypt – the most powerful nation on earth at the time, and Nathan whom He sent to king David to denounce his atrocious act of adultery which resulted in the murder of the Bathsheba’s husband as well – a case of sheer high-handedness. These men of God risked their lives in obedience to God, choosing to fear Him rather than men.
The call to reverence Him always as our Creator, Provider and Saviour is being made to all of God’s creations. In a world that has gone berserk, having lost its bearings; where the fear of the Lord is second place, we are setting ourselves up for a head-on collision with the Lord God All-mighty. He does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) His word is still valid although the devil and his cohorts have mounted a smear campaign against Him as an absentee landlord. The warning comes from the throne of grace, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did.” (Hebrews 3:7-9) God is never pleased with those who openly oppose Him, to do that is to provoke Him to anger. “So [He] declared on oath in [His] anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.” (Hebrews 3:11)
Today, with the coming of Christ, the only Mediator between God and man, God is urging everyone to fear and obey Him. “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who works in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.” (Isaiah 50:10)
Those who accept Him from every nation, who revere Him and are righteous in all their ways, to them He extends a warm hand of love. “God does not show favouritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and who do what is right.” (Acts 10:35) God knows who are His and He wants to gather all of us to Him like a hen would its chicks. He yearns for a solid relationship governed by love because love drives out fear. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” (1 John 4:18)
As we continue to revere His holy name, as we seek to build a sound relationship with His Son, we are assured of building on a rock. A rock that will stand, that will not be shaken.
Then we can trust Him to take us through any and every circumstance, for then our eyes will be fixed on Him not on the danger. We shall not lose focus. For when Jesus is in our boat, we will smile at the storm.
“How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.” (Psalm 31:19)