By Don Willis
The Lord God is in Heaven. All is well with His people. We believe in the veracity of God. God made heaven, the earth, the seas, and all that in them is. Glory belongs to Him! There is none to compare with Him. Worship must be ascribed to Him.
In the great Ten Commandment law, God had demanded, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3). “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one God: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deut. 6:4-5). “The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Hab. 2:20).
Solomon said the whole duty of man is to “fear God, and keep his commandments” (Eccl. 12:13). Therefore, many people are frightened at the concept of God! Might we call to our attention the two-fold nature of this command: fear God, keep His commandments. The religious world pays much attention to the first half of the command, but ignores the need to “keep His commandments.” One does not love God who fails to keep His commandments (1 Jn. 2:3-4).
More than one Greek word is translated “fear.” Mr. Vine’s excellent work observes that the Greek term, eulabeia signifies “firstly caution; then, reverence, godly fear, Heb. 5:7; 12:28, in best manuscripts, ‘reverence;’ in general, apprehension, but especially holy fear, ‘that mingled fear and love which, combined, constitute the piety of man toward God; the O.T. places its emphasis on the fear, the N.T.. . . on the love, though there was love in the fear of God’s saints then, as there must be fear in their love now… (Vine’s quote is from Trench). There must be a reverential fear, awe, of God. Many regard God too lightly! We are in His presence, let us be in awe before His august throne!
Another Greek term, phobos, is translated fear. Vine said it had the meaning of flight, that which is caused by being scared. One is not “scared” of God; yet Vine continues to note a “reverential fear of God, as a controlling motive of the life in matters spiritual and moral, not a mere fear of His power and righteous retribution, but a wholesome dread of displeasing Him, a fear which banishes the terror that shrinks from His presence, Rom. 8:15, and which influences the disposition and attitude of one whose circumstances are guided by trust in God. . . . ” Vine further adds the reverential fear of God will inspire a constant carefulness in dealing with others in His fear.
God loves you and me. God has said He is “for” us, that is, He is on our side! Christ lives to intercede for us! He died that we might live. Truly, let each of us give our lives to Him in complete obedience. “Fear God, and keep His commandments.”
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 19, p. 582
October 3, 1985