“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
One of the most basic principles of the Bible is learning to fear the Lord. We know that God is merciful and caring. He is also patient and kind. But the same God who loves us so dearly is also just, holy, jealous, and righteous. He expects reverence and faithfulness. He judges sin and compromise. It is pleasing to Him and beneficial to us if we develop the wholesome quality of fear toward Him. When Moses stood before Him, he was instructed to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. When John saw the Savior in Revelation 1:17, we are told that he “fell at his feet as dead.”
It is not natural to fear the Lord; this habit must be acquired and maintained. The Bible teaches us plainly that God is to be feared. The further our world drifts from a Biblical worldview, the more we see casualness about the Person of God Almighty. Blasphemy and cursing are more commonly heard in the public arena than words of respect for Jesus Christ. There was a day in our country when the majority of businesses would not consider being open on Sunday, out of respect for God and the importance of worship.
This lack of respect for God is taking over many places of worship. Man-centered worship is the order of the day. People shop for churches that will cater to their individual tastes and schedules. If Sunday worship is not convenient, why not forget the Lord’s Day and go to church on Saturday evening? If rock-and-roll music fits their personal preference, they look for a church offering a live band and contemporary worship. This is the trend of our generation. God is often referred to with terms such as, “The man upstairs,” or “Our buddy in the sky.” Preaching is being replaced by entertaining and shallow and non-offensive mini-sermons with little Biblical content or call to commitment and holiness. How wicked and carnal all of this is! It should make us shudder to think of this wholesale lack of respect and fear. Nowhere in the Bible can you find anything that would condone such behavior.
Our text beckons us not to fear man, but to fear God. We are not to be people pleasers, but God pleasers. Our nation needs a revival, including a revival of the fear of God.