God does not want His children living in fear. “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:2-3). However, God does want His children to have a proper respect and reverence for Him. We are told in many places in Scripture to “fear God.”
Comment ~ This week’s passage (immediately below) is a reference to the OT Red Sea experience (Exodus 14). Note also that in the New Testament we read, “Even the winds and the waves obey Him” (Luke 8:22). This is consistent with what we read in the letter to the Colossians. “All things were created through Him [Jesus Christ] and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17). He controls all things—including the created natural elements which He created.
This Week’s Passage ~ “The waters saw You, O God;the waters saw You, they were afraid; the depths also trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound;Your arrows also flashed about. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Your way was in the sea,Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps were not known. You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron” (Psalm 77:16-20).
Comment ~ Consider the following passages: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued and went after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. Now it came to pass, in the morning watch, that the Lord looked down upon the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud, and He troubled the army of the Egyptians. And He took off their chariot wheels, so that they drove them with difficulty; and the Egyptians said, ‘Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fights for them against the Egyptians.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come back upon the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen.’ And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and when the morning appeared, the sea returned to its full depth, while the Egyptians were fleeing into it. So the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained. But the children of Israel had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left. So the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus Israel saw the great work which the Lord had done in Egypt; so the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and His servant Moses” (Exodus 14:21-31).
“Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out. But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!’” (Luke 8:22-25).
Fearing God Results in Salvation ~ “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31). “A wise person fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident” (Proverbs 14:16). This does not mean the Christian is to live a fearful life—but a life which reverences God and seeks to do His will.
Fearing God Results in Fearlessness ~ “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1). The answer is: only God. With the gift of salvation comes responsibility.
Fearing God Results in Witnessing ~ “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul” (Psalm 66:16).
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