The Joy of Fearing God

“But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” (Isaiah 8:13).

There are many verses like this in the Bible … verses that say we should fear God … that our natural response would be to fall down in His presence and tremble.

Some folks are more than a little uncomfortable with this. They say things like, “What kind of God is that?! He wants us to FEAR Him?! I don’t want to believe in a God like THAT!”

Yet, they fail to realize the beauty of it. They fail to see that this is what the human heart longs to experience.

Imagine that you were in a high political office and were invited by a high ranking general to view a top-secret military location. You followed him through a multitude of metal doors as you also made your way down various flights of stairs.

When you came to a final door, the general halted, looked you in the eye and said, “Hear that hum?” Yes, you hear it. It was almost deafening. He said, “Behind this door is a new type of weapon. It’s been recently developed. It is so powerful that it would make the atom bomb look like a Fourth of July firecracker that failed. This weapon could easily blow up an entire continent.”

Your jaw dropped. Your eyes widened. Your mouth begin to feel very dry and your knees were shaking. As he punched the code into the door lock, you almost found yourself saying, “No! Hold on a second. We don’t need to go in that room. I’m good.” But, he opens the door and invites you in.

There it is! This massive weapon that was putting off that loud humming noise. And as you viewed it, you were filled with a multitude of emotions, just a few of which were awe, fear, elation and humility. And while you would find yourself ready to call the visit to a close and get out of there, you would notice at a later time that you wanted to go back for a visit. Such power that evoked such fear was almost intoxicating. You would also find that everything inside you would want to tell others of your experience.

Simply put, if we don’t fear God, then it’s not the God of the Bible. If we properly understand the God of the Bible in His holiness and power, He will often cause us to have the same sort of emotions described in the story above. If He never does, then the “god” we have in our minds and hearts is a “god” of our own imaginations.

There are more than a few Bible teachers and preachers who think it is not to their benefit to speak of a God that needs to be feared. But, in so doing, they rob their listeners of the joy of knowing such a holy and powerful God that SHOULD strike fear in the hearts of all who know Him … and they LOVE it!

“But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” (Isaiah 8:13).

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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