(Ecclesiastes 12:13) Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
Have you ever wondered about what it actually means to fear God? Imagine that you got in trouble at school, and your mother had to come and pick you up. You’d have fear of your mother, but then your mother would say these dreaded words, “wait till your father gets home”. These words would strike a deeper fear. Well, if you had a good loving relationship with your father, you might be afraid of what punishment was coming, but you’d also have a hurt in your heart because you had let your father down. God calls himself our Father, and that helps us understand what the fear of God is like. For those who didn’t have the perfect father experience, this might present us with a somewhat confused understanding of what it means to fear God.
Last Sunday, our pastor used electricity as an example for fearing God. Electricity is all around us, and we depend on it greatly. However we also know that if we stick a fork in an outlet we’re going to get electrocuted. So we respect electricity and have a healthy fear of it.
The sun is another power source that we respect and maintain a healthy fear toward. Not only does the sun provide heat for us, but through the process of photosynthesis it also provides directly or indirectly all the food eaten by us and the other living creatures on the earth. The sun is a life sustaining power that we can’t live without. Now put on your bathing suit and go lay in direct summer sunlight for 5 or 6 hours and you will experience another aspect of the sun’s power by developing a painful sun burn. My worse sun burn was obtained in the tropics in a period of one hour. The pain was excruciating. I became nauseous and could hardly move. I definitely have a healthy fear of the sun’s power.
God is the ultimate power and the creator of all other sources of power known to man. He has power over the physical world and the spiritual world. Fearing God is an intelligent decision, yet there is so much more to God then raw power. God is also a being filled with love, patience, kindness, and forgiveness. In my years of knowing God, I’ve come to love him, and I feel very close to him. I desire to please God because he loves me, and I love him. He is like the perfect father to me. So let me then close with this scripture.
(1 John 4:16-18) So we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with judgment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.