Our adversary the devil, being a pervert and a liar, has an agenda to pervert virtually everything that God has established for good. One of those perversions is Fear.
God is truly awesome. The Hebrew word for awesome is “ya-re” – it contains huge components of dread, fear, terror and reverence. 2012 American English vernacular has us describing hot dogs, surfing, new movies and touchdown catches as “awesome” – but biblically, that would be inaccurate. God alone is awesome, and in that awesomeness should be our comprehension that our great God is mighty, and worthy of reverential fear.
The bible writers totally got it.
Ps 66:5 Come and see the works of God; he is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men. (NKJ)
Exod 18:21 “Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. (NKJ)
Deut 5:29 ‘Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever! (NKJ)
Deut 6:13 “You shall fear the LORD your God and serve Him, and shall take oaths in His name. (NKJ)
David had a revelation regarding the wicked, describing them at the outset of Ps 36:
1 An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: there is no fear of God before his eyes. (NKJ) (there’s where satan wants to lead the church – no fear of God. Welcome to wickedness)
So what’s our issue? NT vs OT? What does the New Testament tell us about the fear of the Lord – is it something brutal that “went away” because Jesus fulfilled the righteousness requirements of the Law? It doesn’t appear that way, as testified by our Lord Himself:
4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
5 “But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! (NKJ)
Mary, exhilarated over the visitation of the angel who spoke of the upcoming miraculous conception, then testified of God’s goodness with this proclamation:
Luke 1:50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation. (NKJ)
(I want/need that mercy in my life!)
Paul, who wrote countless letters pointing people to the freedom that was ours through the blood of Christ, and who rebuked the Galatians for straying back to the do’s and don’ts of the Law, did NOT tell the Corinthians that Fear was Old-Testament-only. To the contrary:
2 Cor 7:1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. (NKJ)
The elder John, on Patmos, in the midst of his revelation of revelations, declares:
6 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth– to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people–
7 saying with a loud voice, “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.” (NKJ)
As if that were not enough, John then sees a multitude of worshipers proclaiming
Rev 15:4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.” (NKJ) (Those were last-days-events judgments that were prophetically seen as having been manifested – we realize all too well that all the nations have yet to come and worship)
So what is our issue with us embracing the fullness of the concept of the fear of the Lord?
The issue is that our enemy would want to come into the congregation of the godly, deceive us with smooth words, and steal (he’s the thief and robber – John 10:10) from us the blessings purposely set aside by our amazing and AWESOME God, blessings reserved for those who would fear Him:
Ps 103:11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; (NKJ)
Ps 103:17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, (NKJ)
Ps 103:13 As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him.
David, in Psalm 34 (finally we’re getting to Ps 34) is all over the fear-of-the-Lord thing:
1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
(THAT is a vow – see Ps 66:14 and Ps 76:11)
2 My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together. (a corporate invitation to worship)
4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. (he was delivered from inappropriate fears – fears of anything other than the One worthy to be feared)
5 They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. (David was no doubt pointing to himself as the poor man)
7 The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. (There you go! That’s what I’m talking about – supernatural protection!)
8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
(That is the experiential gospel of God. Taste and see. Unless you’ve tasted and seen, it is a walk lacking intimacy, limited to the intellect. Sad. But once you’ve tasted and seen, you’re hooked, and you want more)
9 Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him.
(The sanctified ones are encouraged to fear their awesome God)
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.
11 Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
(Verse 11 is spectacular – David understood that we all need to learn the fear of the Lord. We require a revelation as to what the fear of God is, and what the fear of God isn’t. The following few verses are then a cursory primer as to how to behave as one who fears the Lord, but it is not the completeness of the program…)
12 Who is the man who desires life, and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. (THAT alone ought to get us fearing God and departing from evil – understanding that He is against those who do evil. That has not changed over time, friends)
17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones; not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
Wow wow wow. Suggestion: Spend all your “fear-quotient” on the One worthy to be feared, Awesome God. Then, when situations arise around you, and our enemy, the terrorist of all terrorists, wants to rage and stir up fear in you, you can simply proclaim: “Sorry, I have no fear to spend on that situation, threat or lie. I’ve spent all my fear on the One worthy to be feared”.
Jesus advised us of the following:
25 “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring;
26 “men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.
27 “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
That hasn’t happened yet, and v27 tells us this occurs just prior to the coming of the Son of Man. This is last days happenings.
It coincides with the immediacy of Jesus’ similar words in Matthew:
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Point is – as things get shakier and tougher and as the creation groans in birth pangs and as the nations rage, our Lord tells us men’s hearts will fail them amidst the expectation of the things which are coming on the earth.
I humbly contend that verse 26 in Luke 21 includes misinformed and/or unprepared saints – the one group of people who actually are anticipating the things to come on the earth. For the most part, other folks are unaware or oblivious to the Kingdom of God, and likely will continue thinking a better hybrid car or a different person in office will fix things back to “normal”. But the saints know in advance. God has told us in His Word that there is a work to do on earth.
Saints ignoring the signs of the times, who may have bought into the buddy-God doctrines of the Western church, will sadly have an abundance of fear left in them, unspent on awesome God – and they will have failing hearts, because what is occurring on earth will not be in alignment with what they were taught and/or chose to believe, or how they chose to regard our great God.
Come little children, listen to me, and I will teach you the fear of the Lord. That is God’s desire for us all. He wants us walking in the safety of the revelation of His fullness. Lion and Lamb. Savior and King. Lover of our souls. The Bridegroom enraptured with His bride, the Church. Great and awesome Creator. Intimate Papa and at the very same time Adonai Ts’va-oat – King of the Universe and Commander of the Armies of Heaven.
(Rev 15:4 – again) Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.” (NKJ)