What is the "Fear of God"? Part 2
“Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, Awesome in praises, working wonders?
They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.
He has sent redemption to His people; He has ordained His covenant forever; Holy and awesome is His name.
Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;
In Hebrew, the word for “fear” is “yare’ ” (H3373) which is the adjective form of the root word of the verb “yare ‘ “ (H3372) which means “to fear, revere, be afraid”. In last week’s blog post, we discussed what it means to fear God, in the sense of actually being afraid of consequences or punishments. That type of fear should give us a healthy respect for our Creator, His power, what He can do and has done. This week we are going to discuss what it means to fear God, to revere Him, to hold Him in high esteem, wonder, amazement, admiration, awe or worship. Have you ever stood at the precipice of a small part of Creation, the Grand Canyon for instance or a rainforest? Were you struck with a sense of awe and wonder, amazed at what Yahweh has created? This is the type of fear we are talking about, this is how we need to view our Creator at all times. The "fear of the LORD" therefore should include an overwhelming sense of the majesty, worth, and beauty of Yahweh.
There is a duality of Yahweh, in His image we have been created, male and female. A study on the fear of God seems to follow this pattern; the fear/respect spoken of last week would seem to be the male side of Yahweh. The awe/reverence/appreciation of Him and His creation, its beauty, may be considered the female side. Just as we interact with men and women differently, perhaps we need to view our Creator from both sides. It’s not enough to be afraid of Yahweh, we need to see the beauty, majesty, and power of Him in order to better appreciate who He is and what He has done. Being afraid of God shows us His mercy, His grace toward us through Yeshua gives us cause to be in awe and wonder of His goodness. It’s humbling when we put both types of “fear”, or “yireh” together.
Our Creator, God, who is mighty enough to erase our existence as if it never occurred, who promises eternal death to those who do not obey Him, offers us the opportunity to know and serve Him. As we begin our journey of Torah Pursuance, the fear of God in all His glory and power helps motivate us to learn how He wants us to live. Our continuance of that journey reveals the awesomeness, mercy, grace, and love He shows toward us making it easy to revere Him, and be humbled before Him. Yet, why should we revere Him?
How do you treat someone that you cherish? How do you respond to someone whom you look up to and hold in high esteem, or find completely amazing because they have a great a sport talent, acting talent, or are highly educated, a genius? Do you lightly put aside what they want to share with you? Do you cast them and a relationship with them so casually? Do you disrespect them? For most of us, it’s not likely that we would, ESPECIALLY if they wanted to share the secret to their success.
What if the that individual told you there was something you could so elevate your abilities that you could be like they were? Would you listen, would you pay attention? Of course! What if that person wanted to adopt you into their family allowing you full access to what they have, an intimate relationship with them? Would you turn them down? Not likely. Yet, the Creator of the UNIVERSE has done those things. He has given us the “secret” to living a holy, set apart, life for Him. He has given us the ability to join with Him and become one of His family, co-heirs with His son. If we wouldn’t cast aside such gifts or knowledge from mortal men, then why is it so easy for us to do it with the Creator?
Perhaps it is because we do not look up to our God, we do not revere Him, cherish Him, are not amazed at His goodness. Perhaps we are not grateful for what He has done; what if we do not even realize how we treat Him? How thankful are you to your Creator for all that He has done? Does His Word and His creation still inspire you as it once did? What do you think will happen if our fear/respect for God is coupled with our admiration and reverence for Him? How much more deeply will you cherish Him and His Word? How blessed would you be?
8 Let all the earth fear Yahweh;
Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
9 For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
10 Yahweh nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of Yahweh stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is Yahweh,
The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.