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Fear God

What does it mean to fear God? 

The phrase “Fear God” is an interesting phrase. In modern American culture to fear something is viewed as a negative. We fear it because it is mysterious, dangerous, or a combination of both. I think this makes it hard to understand what it means to “fear God.” If God is loving and gracious, then how could we fear Him?

To avoid seriously wrestling with the issue, many people simply say to “fear God” is to respect Him and to hold Him in reverence. While this is true, I think it misses the point of what it means to fear God.

Scripture actually treats fearing God as a positive rather than a negative. In Genesis 42:12, Joseph, as he tried to win his brothers’ trust, told them that he was a God-fearing man. Exodus 1:17 tells the story of the two Hebrew midwives who defied Pharaoh, and spared the lives of the Hebrew babies. Why did they do this? Because they feared God. In Matthew 10:28 Jesus taught his followers not to fear earthly authorities, but to fear God alone.

I think this tells us that we need to move past seeing fear a negative. When we fear God we form our character, we seek to do what is right (even in the face of opposition), and we surrender our lives to Him. Fearing God is a transforming aspect in our lives. - See more at: Fear God 


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