The Timeless Decree (2)
All New Testament believers, who have God as their Father must have the reverential, godly, filial fear of God. “As obedient children, be ye holy; For I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear. Fear God,”1 Peter 1:14-17; 2:17.
The scriptural fear of God is the fear of causing grief in the heart of our Father – God (Genesis 6:5,6), the fear of bringing divine wrath and judgment upon ourselves (Luke 12:4,5), the fear of giving occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme (2 Samuel 12:14), the fear of misleading our own children into hell fire (Matthew 18:6), the fear of becoming a stumbling block to the brethren and destroying souls for whom Christ died (1 Corinthians 8: 9,11,12), the fear of missing heaven and our promised inheritance (Hebrews 4: 1; Jude 5). This is the fear of the Lord that makes us to hate and depart from evil (Proverbs 8: 13; 3: 7).
Fear God. Angels, our Lord Jesus Christ and God, the eternal King Himself, demand it. From the beginning of divine revelation to the end, it is required that we fear God, honour Him and give Him the glory due unto His Name. This is the whole duty of man; it is the salt that seasons every other duty. There is no duty performed by us that can by any means be accepted by God, if it is not seasoned with God-honouring respect, reverence and godly fear. “But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.” (Psalm 5:7).
Only the worship, obedience, service, faithfulness, sacrifice, zeal and ministry, which flow from the fountain of godly, reverential fear in the heart is acceptable to God, and is rewardable by Him. The acceptable fear of God is first begotten in the heart, when we are awakened and convicted of our sins and their consequence. That is what makes us to cry out, “Sir, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). It is this fear that drives us to Christ, seeking salvation, with a firm decision to “flee from the wrath to come,” Luke 3: 6,7.
Saved and abiding in Christ, it is this gracious, godly fear that makes us steadfast in the Lord, consecrating ourselves to Him, promising to serve Him till the end. “I will put My fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from Me” (Jeremiah 32:40). It is this glorious, godly fear, the divine gift of “the fear of the Lord” in our hearts (Isaiah 11: 2; Jeremiah 32: 39) that drives far away from us “the fear of man (that) bringeth a snare,” Proverbs 29: 25, and we are able to say, “I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6). Then shall we be able to declare with firm and unwavering purpose of heart, “we ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29).
God, the everlasting King, delights in those who fear Him in the divinely-appointed way. The fear of the Lord is imparted into our hearts for our good (Jeremiah 32:40; Deuteronomy 6:24). The great privilege of divine delights is reserved for those that fear the Lord, both in this world and in that which is to come. The Lord is the help and shield of all who fear Him (Psalm 115: 11).
Supernatural help and shield are the special grant and peculiar privilege for those who fear the Lord. Those that truly fear the Lord shall receive unfailing help in times of weakness and infirmity. They will also have heaven’s shield of protection against all the assaults of the devil and his messengers.
God has also declared concerning the believer who fears Him that He will be his teacher, guide and counselor at every crossroad in life. Such a God-fearing believer will never lack the wisdom to choose the right way (Psalm 25: 12). To be taught of God, to be led by God and to be kept in the path that leads to heaven is one of the greatest privileges we can have in this world of darkness and confusion.
Further Reading (King James Version): Daniel 6: 25,26 Hebrews 12:28,29; Revelation 19:5-9; Ecclesiastes 12:13,14; Jeremiah 10:6,7,10; Psalms 147:11; 25: 12-14; 112: 1-7; Genesis 22:11-18; Hebrews 11:7; Malachi 3: 16-18; 4:2,3; Acts 10: 22, 33-35, 44; Revelation 11: 15-18.