A few months ago, I came across a verse in my English Standard Version of the bible. It read that Isaac called God “fear”. I mean, why wouldn’t he?When literally, he had to understand that God demanded his father killed him as a sacrifice. If that was the first thing that he continuously got to know? I would be afraid of such a person. I read this verse over and over again, with this context of the sacrifice ringing over and over. This must be it; what it means to fear God. How far did I run from God since knowing fear in the human sense of it; interpreting it by the eyes of a predicament.
Moreover, all I have been asking myself is why am I so afraid of God? To the extent that I avoid talking to Him. Since that time, I would rather have someone say I dreamt about you or I prayed for you and God said… This, I would easily believe because I was afraid of God. What if He told me, I want you to take that job with the low pay? Or what if he asked me to abandon my relationship and friends and move to another country? What if He says quite your job? I was too used to the fact that fear was negative.
Graciously, my Pastor ‘s wife unraveled a mystery to me concerning the topic of fear in a sermon she shared. When you read it, it sounds simple but very deep.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7 KJV
For the purpose of this discussion, the focus would be the first part of the verse. In my understanding, the fear of God means you have began to know God. When one comes to God, we are told of the punishment of hell more than we are told of His love and kindness. Would it make sense to say we are sometimes scared into believing God? We hear the story about hell and we just want to play it safe.
What they didn’t tell us is to get to know God, find out about Him, ask questions, speak to Him if you can, just to know Him. God wants to be chosen by you and not just selected out of compulsion. Usually, those who select Him out of the options always find themselves going back to the options because they know the options better than they know God.
This verse made me appreciate the explanation that fear means honouring and respecting someone. For instance, a father whose children are always running away from him must realise that he has become an enemy to them. They don’t trust him and he doesn’t trust them. Sooner than he thinks, he would find that all the things they pretended to like or do were just to make him get off their backs. God’s intent is for us to be able to come to Him, just as we are. So, when a father draws closer to his child, he begins to build trust in their relationship and the child finds in him security. When they feel secured, instead of fear that causes them to run from their father, they run to their father. They don’t pretend to revere him, they just sincerely reverence him.
Now this is what FEARING God means. Getting to know Him, building your trust in Him and honouring Him with your obedience. This really blessed me and guess what, it has made my relationship with God easier. No more fear, it’s just respect and trust. Those things I would rather worry about and talk to friends about, I tell Him first. And He always answered, through someone or by Himself . As adults, nobody’s got you like God would. Stop running from Him because you fear what He would ask of you, run to Him and enjoy the comfort of His guidance and protection. Maybe, He wouldn’t ask anything you can’t give. Shalom *