What Does It Mean to Fear the Lord?
“How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of all on those who take refuge in you.” Psalm 31:19 (tniv)
Around New Year’s, I sometimes choose a word or phrase that is my theme for the year. One year that word was fear. people were confused because who wants to be fearful? But I wanted to know what it was to fear the Lord.
Fear means something slightly different today than in biblical times, but I learned that it’s essentially the same sort of deep, trembling reverence. Sort of the same respect you give to a shark or a whale—something powerful and very different from yourself. Every time I saw the word fear in my Bible reading, it enhanced my understanding of how we are to fear God.
When Jesus calmed the storm on the lake, His disciples were both amazed and fearful of Him. They understood that He wasn’t an ordinary man. They still loved Him, respected Him, followed Him, argued with Him, abandoned Him, denied Him and worshipped Him. Jesus was still their master and their friend, but they also feared Him. Their fear was part of the complexity of their relationship with Him, and it should be that way with us too.
FAITH STEP: Do you fear Jesus, or has your relationship with Him become too comfortable? Do you have the kind of deep reverence and respect for Jesus that you need to have? Whether in an e-book version of the Bible or online, look up passages with the word fear, so you can better understand what it is to fear Him.
Written by Camy Tang
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