By: Rob Peralta
In the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon describes many of the trials and pleasures of life. He wrote of his experiences, as many as there were. He unmistakably let's us know "this life" will not fulfill us in our carnal pursuits. Then he finishes his insightful writings with a great summary of what really matters in this life. (Ecc:12:13) " Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter, FEAR GOD, and keep His Commandments, for this is the whole duty of man". As I have written quite a lot about keeping His Commandments, I thought it was time to talk about our OTHER duty- Fear God. You'll notice God's inspired word said we just have TWO duties, nothing more and nothing less. God does not change neither does His word. These two duties REMAIN our duties. As Solomon also wrote ( Prov. 1:7) " Fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom...)
I can certainly understand how this second duty can be misunderstood. After all "fear" is usually not associated with God. When we think of our Lord, we think love, understanding, compassion and those "good" things. Fear just doesn't come to our mind for many of us when we think of God. BUT that is exactly what the adversary wants you to think! God had a reason why he put "Fear Him" as a duty of ours.
This is why I believe God has told us to fear Him. "Fear" in this duty really means "Holy reverence". That means we look upon God in His real place - Almighty, Powerful, and Righteous, willing to love mankind yet NOT willing to have His Holy Laws trampled upon. These represent His character, His whole essence of being, in other words --- His core! When we fear Him, we really "respect" Him. We hold Him in Holy reverence, we OBEY our duty. He then says " My Son (or Daughter) you have listened to my words, I am well pleased".
On the other hand we should not think of fear as God just waiting and watching to condemn us. This kind of thinking is from the evil one as he tries to twist God's words "Fear Him" into something completely different. A destructive and useless fear is certainly not God's intention.
Let's look at a great example of this "fear" shown one of God's great servants - Job. In (Job 1:5) we read "And when it was, the days of feasting were going on, that Job sent and sanctified them, offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all: For Job said 'It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.' Thus Job did this continually."
Look at this. Job was "afraid" that his sons were not doing righteously before God. He was fearful that God would be upset, so he prepared in advance an "apology" of sorts in their behalf. Here we can see Job performing his duty spectacularly! In fact look how impressed our Lord was ( Job 1:8) "And the Lord said unto Satan, 'has thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in all the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that FEARETH God and hateth evil?". We should all have such holy reverence as this!
This is why we should NEVER take our walk with God for granted. Thinking foolishly that we can bypass our duties and be safe because we know God will excuse us from our duties and make an exception for us. Jesus' sacrifice was tremendous and it cleaned our slate but IT DID NOT relieve us of our duties. We now do them with JOY! We say "your will is our command my Lord, we shall be pleased to do them as you said."
I believe there are 3 things the Lord especially loves in His people 1) The humble 2) The courageous 3) Those that fear Him in Holy reverence. It has been said that the definition of a saint is this--- One who looks upon sin in horror. How true this is. So let us strive to rise as far as we can in our walk, and if possible to arrive where saints come--that place where we look at sin in horror and we FEAR God in holy reverence. In Christ's love, Rob