Fear God – Proverbs 19:23
What does it mean to fear God? It is an important question because the Bible promises good things for those who know. “The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil” (Proverbs 19:23). Sounds pretty good to me; I want life, satisfaction and evil to stay far from me.
Jesus told us to call the Father “Abba” which is a familiar Hebrew term of endearment in use still today. Some people translate Abba into Daddy for our modern culture. We can tug at Abba’s pant leg until we get picked up. We can crawl into Abba’s lap. We can feel safe and loved in Abba’s embrace. That doesn’t sound like fear.
Indeed, God does not want us to fear approaching Him or be afraid that any moment He is about to zap us. He wants us to know His great love for us. The fear of the Lord that leads to life is a different kind of fear. Fear of God is reverential awe and deep respect. Many of us need to return to it.
We shouldn’t feel casual about God. Yes, He desires intimacy with us but that is a sacred trust. We should not use His name disrespectfully or throw temper tantrums or demand our rights.
Meditating on who God is in all his attributes can develop a healthy and reverential fear in our hearts. Then when we approach Him to pull on His pant leg we will have a true appreciation for just who it is that is lifting us onto His lap.